Disquiet Junto Project 0445: Aare Tribute

This week is the second of three projects this year being done in collaboration with Musikfestival Bern in Switzerland. Select recordings resulting from these projects will be played on a listening booth at the Steinatelier on September 5, as well as being aired on Radio RaBe (rabe.ch). Major thanks to @TobiasReber for the collaboration.

Disquiet Junto Project 0445: Aare Tribute
The Assignment: Read maps of a river as a graphic score.

This project is the second of three that are being done over the course of as many months in collaboration with the 2020 Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 2 through 6 under the motto “Tektonik” (“Tectonics”). For this reason, a German translation is provided below. We are working at the invitation of Tobias Reber, an early Junto participant, who is in charge of the educational activities of the festival. This is the second year in a row that the Junto has collaborated with Musikfestival Bern. Select recordings resulting from these three Disquiet Junto projects will be played on a listening booth at the Steinatelier on September 5, as well as being aired on Radio RaBe (rabe.ch), an independent local radio station partnering with the festival.

Step 1: Look at the three maps below, all of the river Aare, a tributary that circumnavigates the city of Bern. One is from the late 18th century. The other two are modern renditions from Google Maps.

Step 2: Use one or more of those images by interpreting them as graphic scores and composing a resulting piece of music.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0445” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0445” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your tracks with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, July 13, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0445” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 445th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Disquiet Junto Project 0445: Aare Tribute — The Assignment: Read maps of a river as a graphic score — at:


This is the second of three projects in collaboration with Musikfestival Bern 2020 which will take place in Bern, Switzerland, from September 2 to 6. More on the festival at:



More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.


And the project is now live. Thanks, folks.

i had an early morning dreamlike sense of the maps coming off the screen through the air and through my eyes

i played some viola and violin samples in protoplasm
then through loop slippery, supermassive and ddly


I decided that Bern looks a bit like Wagga.

I made a recording at the beach late last year, so I’ve combined the video of Wagga Beach with my track inspired by drifting on the river.

Richard Fair · Aare We Bern Friends - disquiet0445

For this Disquiet Junto project I picked out the markers on a map of Bern and allocated them notes depending on their position. I used a variety of instruments in Ableton Live and used only notes in the order they came - apart from the drum tracks.
I also wanted to replicated the flow of the river shifting one of the tracks from right to left.


I tried to capture the slow history of the river itself and its intersections with modern life, along with the disruptions to flow visible on the map:

This was my first use of @dirtboxsynth 's (twitter) user oscillator for the MinilogueXD, which makes the string sounds and the arpeggiated plucking.


Hi All,

This grew out of a really simple little sequence in the rough shape of the river in the maps …

Have a great week!

Darren :slight_smile:


The playlist is now rolling:


I used all 3 maps and Vizzi to create a video. I then went thru and found a selection I liked to create the score. I looped the small section of notes for 4 bars and then reversed it.


First I divided the First map into 4 equal parts, then I looked for shapes and patterns in all four parts (see photo). I assigned each geometric part to a parameter of my Elektron Analog 4 MK 2. This gave me a soundmap for each of the four analogue 4 synthesizer tracks. The notes for the individual tracks resulted from the name of the river A-A-R-E, whereby I translated the R as RE, so I played note D.


I finally figured out that my internet was down and they’d why my video wouldn’t load. Oh man its hot!
I used a MAX Vizzie and jit patch I built from a loop of the 3 maps.

I decided to interpret the river from the perspective of someone proceeding down stream (to the North). I used field recordings to simulate what you might hear from the banks and synths to create musical parts corresponding to various features you’d meet (Weir, bridges etc).

The structure was mapped out from Google maps. In particular I used the measurement tool and considered the river in the image in 500ft segments which I annotated that with features of note. I then mapped that into a timeline which became the finished track.

As for the hardware used, the samples were all handled on the MPC. The melodic elements were from the Peak, Bass station 2 and Microfreak. Things were EQed on the mixer and some delay and reverb were added to bring things together. As usual I record it through my EQ and compressor in stereo then tidied it up in audacity.

Listening to the end result, I think it worked reasonably but I stuck to my concept at the expense of musicality. In any case it was an interesting project, so thanks for another fun idea!


The River Aare is notable for its turquoise color, which gets bluer and richer as the weather in Bern gets warmer. Minerals from the surrounding mountains drain into the Aare via melting snow and ice, leaving an exotic cocktail of minerals in the water. Some locals suggest that the blue color has intensified over the years, as more glaciers melt due to overall warming of the earth’s atmosphere.

The color of the Aare was the start of Suss Müsik’s tribute to one of Europe’s most beautiful and overlooked geographies. The piece begins with a blast of “blue noise” generated by a grain synth, sequenced according to conversion maps drawn in the shape of the River Aare.

The supplied image of the river and surrounding hotspots was then converted to high-contrast, binary tones. The resulting picture was then scanned as a high-resolution audio file and processed into samples. These were sequenced according to the matrix of hotspots as they appear on the original map. What resulted was a series of little blips and blorps in the key of B.

All of these components were then played and recorded live to 8-track.

The work process employed by Suss Müsik is similar to that used for an ongoing collaboration with visual artist B.G. Madden, whose first name coincidentally is Bern.

The piece is entitled Aare. Thanks and kudos to Tobias Reber for proposing such an interesting Junto project.


My contribution:



It started with drawing a free-hand upstream path through the river (Inkscape) and then measuring the length and angle of each segment in the path. Those lengths and segments were converted into a melody (Dm scale / pitch=compass angle / duration=segment length) which were then manually drawn as MIDI into the DAW (Reaper) to be played by a computer synth (Alpha Free). Then:

  • Added an accompaniment track (single chord, Dm9) using the same synth with different settings.
  • Recorded Judith playing the melody on viola through her TC Electronic Flashback 2 into an amp into the DAW
  • Also recorded the same performance into an old cassette recorder
  • Recorded Simon playing some acoustic guitar onto a cassette loop using the same old cassette recorder, slowed down to be in Dm.
  • Mushed it all together with eq, verb, compression, and all the other things

I collaged a longish piece that meanders around the river bends (edit - upstream apparently! Story of my life) with sounds from my studio (all recorded today on eurorack) mixed with field recordings. I placed samples of cars going overhead at each of the bridge crossings (based on track total time and the distance between bridges on the Google map). It was fun to make, hope you enjoy the 17 minute float on the river Aare. Bring your headphones!


I love this, nice work! Great execution of a well laid plan!

@RandomShuffle - Makes me miss me A4. Really nice concept and result


When I saw the prompt, I thought about memory and echoes of time. So I decided to tracee some of the lines from a map of Bern c18th century, and then created an automata with Iannix. I then paired the sounds from the automata with a 2012 field recording of the Aare River, courtesy of DrZoom [https://freesound.org/people/DrZoom/sounds/155030/]. Think of this as an interplay between centuries.

Here is the audio-only link: https://samarobryn.bandcamp.com/track/aare-disquiet-0445


When I look at the old map of Bern with the intention of using it as a graphic score, I first notice the quasi-rhythmic change of colors and degrees of brightness. Then the shapes, several phallic structures, which are partially nested into each other, and the play of surface, line and point. As a next step, I roughly divided the map into four areas, each of which has a different character, with lines, dots and increasing density at the top right, the curved line of the river, which is increasingly stretching to a surface, the (phallic) middle part enclosed by it with its structure of clearly delineated surfaces, and finally the part running out into pure surface at the bottom right. These four parts of the map are reflected in four musical characters in my piece. At the same time, I tried to translate the overall impression of the map into music as well, so that I did not lose sight of the whole of the score.

Beim Anblick der alten Karte von Bern mit der Absicht, sie als graphische Partitur zu benützen, fällt mir zuerst der quasi rhythmische Wechsel der Farbtöne und Helligkeitsgrade auf. Dann die Formen, gleich mehrere zum Teil ineinander verschachtelte phallische Gebilde und das Spiel von Fläche, Linie und Punkt. Als nächsten Schritt habe ich die Karte grob in vier Bereiche geteilt, die jeweils einen anderen Charakter haben, flächig mit Linien, Punkten und zunehmender Dichte oben rechts, die geschwungene Linie des Flusses, die sich immer mehr zur Fläche dehnt, der von ihr eingeschlossene (phallische) mittlere Teil mit seinem strukturierten Aufbau aus klar abgegrenzten Flächen und schließlich der in die reine Fläche auslaufende Teil rechts unten. Diese vier Teile der Karte spiegeln sich in vier musikalischen Charakteren in meinem Stück. Zugleich habe ich versucht, den Gesamteindruck der Karte ebenfalls in Musik umzusetzen und so auch das Ganze der Partitur nicht aus den Augen zu verlieren.


I simply overlaid a MIDI grid over one of the maps.

Then I did some inversions and reversals and overlaid them.

I messed around a lot with the voicings and effects, but decided using simply a piano sound worked best.

Aare Tribute from Paul Reiners on Vimeo.