Disquiet Junto Project 0455: Inner Invertebrate

Jellyfish have three essential life functions. They eat, have sex, then they die. The rest of the time, they simply float about the water trying to avoid being attacked by predators. It’s not a bad way to live.

The jellyfish mating ritual is typically the outcome of chance encounters experienced while drifting about the ocean currents. Think of it like aquatic low-speed dating in today’s pandemic climate, with potential partners randomly hooking up while trying to stay away from each other.

Suss Müsik considered the art of avoidance in developing this short piece. Two synth engines were modulated to allow their waveforms to “drift” unpredictably, with a small dollop of spring-reverse reverb to create a “bounceback” effect. An alternating pattern for fake dulcimer provides the melodic “current” that brings these two mates together.

Jellyfish die not long after mating, and such is the case with this piece. A few brief piano notes symbolize the fertilization process and portend the coming demise. What once was clear becomes opaque and drops to the ocean floor.

The piece is titled Scyphozoa. The image is a public domain photograph by Lydia Jacobs.


Lovely picture, Mark!

My track, using Plogue Bidule for the first time:

Cirri spread to depths
Undulating, languorous
Sensitively tuned



if I ignore the tentacles, to me, a jellyfish looks like a vessel half-full of a colorful amorphous fluid. for rosh hashanah last night we had wine in wine glasses - another vessel half-full of colorful amorphous fluid. i noticed the wine glass makes a neat sound as you flick it and wobble the glass. i decided to use that sound to make this entire track.

sampled a flicked half-full wine glass into an op-1 and then played that into barcode and then pitched it way down and decreased the attack to make a pad and played a Zimmer-ian phrase (f-g-am-g). I then used the tape to transfer that to oooooo and added in a field recording of a lake I hiked at two weeks ago.

Photo by Devon Delrio, transformed into AI painting.


The ghostly Rhizostoma luteum is a jellyfish so elusive that decades often pass without a single sighting. The creature was first discovered by naturalists in 1827, but it wasn’t until 2013 – nearly 200 years later – that the species was confirmed to be real. Read more about it here: https://www.earthtouchnews.com/oceans/oceans/it-took-200-years-to-prove-this-jellyfish-is-real-and-now-its-breeding-in-captivity/

I dug out an ancient track that had been a mutation of a piano track in a Soundcloud competition, back in the days of groups when we did stuff like that.

And further mutated it with reverse, reverb, The Mangle and remix.

And this is it. If you thought it was quiet down there in the depths, you can’t hear like a jellyfish…


For this assignment, I thought about the pulsating, serene rhythms of jellyfish as they moved underwater. I thought about their gelatanious shapes as they continually search the water, awaiting their prey.

I based the track from an underwater field recording I took a few years ago at the beach, and used Ableton’s melody and harmony converters to turn the field recording into MIDI.


Heavily processed modular session with Arturia Pigments, Audio Damage Phosphor and Xils 3 LE thrown in. Lots of reverb from Valhalla SuperMassive and Eventide Blackhole. Part of the modular recording was modulated with a rising saw wave, in Ableton, and distorted with AudioThing’s Wave Box to create the supposed sound of Jellyfish.


My thought when reading the prompt was to imagine a jellyfish just floating along peacefully listening to the sounds of the ocean around it. My second thought was having my human brain shoved into the jellyfish’s brain and hearing those same sounds and hearing music in the various organic sound signals, distorted of course because my giant human brain (or more accurately, my human ego) was too much for the poor jellyfish to handle.

Technical things.
I used a couple of field recordings of machinery stretched out and filtered to create a sort of rhythmic underwater drone sound. Added a looped melody heavily distorted and filtered to create the musical element.


I was doing another track, Andromeda Blossoming https://soundcloud.com/winterer/andromeda-blossoming-studio-version, which was originally not meant to be some kind of underwater track and which is made with the App Samplr on iPad (fun!) with some of my own tracks plus some cc0 field recordings from freesounds. In this track, I more or less imaginated another evolution of ‘the andromeda strain’, one of my favourite sci fi movies, with its strange “unfolding” effect on the lab screens in the movie.

However, a lot of it’s sound already seemed to fit to this disquiet, so I removed everything un-jellyfishy and un-underwatery and did some new balancing of the components to create a new track.

The Cassiopea andromeda lives on the bottom of the sea and she looks up to the billowing world above her…


Oooh it’s ages since I did one of these!

I wanted to capture the vibe of a jellyfish drifting on the current, using a lot of textures, evolving sounds and some underwater samples.


Process: I just got an Arturia Microfreak, so I wanted to use this exercise to get familiar with the instrument.

When I first read the brief I couldn’t help but remember those deep-sea jellyfish segments on wildlife documentaries usually narrated by David Attenborough- they always look like some kind of alien UFO at a rave or something with all the lights.

What does it sound like to be one of those jellyfish, floating around in the deep, and then be gobbled up in an instant? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

I used the synth to create:

  • a pad using the built-in supersaw generator- to create this sense of life and energy for the jellyfish. Kinda like the drone you hear on ships on Star Trek
  • white noise while modulating the filter cutoff created a sense of the ocean surface from a distance
  • a ‘squishy’ sound effect using a modal generator- perhaps that is what it sounds and feels like to move about and pulsate
  • an arp using the modal generator and a random pattern across several octaves to signify the neverending change of light and color

The final sound effect when the jellyfish is gobbled up- is sampled from “Ecco The Dolphin”, a popular game for the Sega Genesis. (Reverb from Valhalla Supermassive) The sound’s origin is FM via the Yamaha YM2612 sound chip, and is played when the the player character Ecco kills a jellyfish. :wink:

Hope you enjoy!



My idea was to base this piece around the Portuguese man o’ war. On further research, I found out a man o’ war not only is not a jellyfish, it is also not an “it”, but a “they”-- a colony of organisms working together. I suppose I was napping during that part of Marine Biology class. This piece embraces the idea of a young jellyfish and its sometimes fitful dream of being a mighty Portuguese man o’ war.


Coincidently the soundchip YM3812 in the rhythmic pulsing (drum machine) of my track is a close cousin of YM2612. Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

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For this concept I wanted to try to combine the atmosphere of the seabed with that of the seaside. To do this I aimed for an aquatic aesthetic using a kick drum with delays and reverbs, sending this to a resonator on the return chanel to create harmonic chord textures.

For the seaside I used field recordings from the Ayrshire coastline, chopped up and processed through the Crystalizer plug in. This gives a feeling of the seaside while also providing rhythmic qualities.

The Jellyfish will spend its time between both of these places so hopefully I have recreated some kind of hybrid the captures both. Who Knows :slight_smile:


The giant jellyfish lives in the sea, mostly in the dark. Does it percieve time? What is up, what is down? Floating, pulsing, sensing the environment through long tentacles, trawling and entangling prey. Does it sense a body or is it part of the ocean? Is it light covered in darkness? The giant jellyfish floats in the sea, doesn’t know fast, doesn’t know slow
just hunger
just being
just pulse.

I wanted to create a weightless feeling, something that moves without moving, just ocean inertia, so I ran different things through a flanger that created textures and different harmonies. Everything is centered around a massive pulse which is the timeless existence of the jellyfish. This is sidechained with other elements in the composition creating a breathing pattern.
I used fieldrecordings from a small harbour in southern Sweden and my car used as a massive resonator during a storm. These were filtered and pitched so they sounded like the deep ocean. Listen to it on something that goes deep.


Nice depth building. I enjoy the subtle marching rhythm. Keeps things moving perpetually forward


Compose a piece of sound/music that summons up what a moment, or an instance, or a day in the life of a jellyfish is like to the jellyfish.

Set the scene by building vast openness. Long, slow evolving notes. With long attack times on the volume envelopes. No one is in a hurry here.

Project bpm set to: 8.000.

Add subtle water sounds to give the feeling of being submerged.

With the atmosphere set, time to add the jellies. They mainly open and close while drifting along.

So I added constant side to side panning drift to my top layer synth. And a filter that slowly opens and closes as the note sounds.

Then added another layer over that with different notes and panning. Sometimes one jelly passes by. Sometimes a few.

Sometimes they’re in unison.

And sometimes they’re not.


I’ve had a bit of an odd time with music of late. In the sense that Fripp talks about it either the music hasn’t been available to me or I’ve not been available to the music. It’s starting to return though which is good.

Meantime I wanted to share a brief Jellyfish piece I made in 2017. Film by me as well



Jellyfish and related organisms make me think of their slow gracious underwater dance. I looked in particular at myxozoa, the smallest animals ever known to have lived. Parasites.


It’s a brooding waltz made entirely on the Polyend Tracker using its built-in samples, all but the kick are wavetables. You can get the zipped project here: myxozoic waltz.zip (3.4 MB)

There is no post-processing besides some subtle loudness maximization courtesy of Waves.


several passes on a modified and highly effected “krell” patch.
Realized on eurorack synth system, digital EQ, and minimal processing.

Krell patches originated as an evolving / self generating patch to represent the “krell” alien race in the film Forbidden Planet.
jellyfish are very alien, so i made the jump to modify that patch for this project.
Thanks for listening.


I used temperature signals from wind, along with recordings of quiet piano sounds, to guide this piece. I had in mind a jellyfish exploring shallow depths, encountering humanity, and then retreating feeling a bit less safe.