Disquiet Junto Project 0459: From a Distance

Disquiet Junto Project 0459: From a Distance
The Assignment: Make music intended to be heard from afar.

Step 1: Music sounds different from across the room, in the next room, from outside, from down the block. Consider how distance changes how we experience sound.

Step 2: Record a piece of music intended to be listened to from afar. When posting the track, mention the circumstances in which you imagine it might best be experienced (terrain, distance, volume, etc.).

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0459” (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 “disquiet0459” (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 the end of the day Monday, October 19, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0459” 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 459th weekly Disquiet Junto project, From a Distance (The Assignment: Make music intended to be heard from afar), 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.

Image associated with this project is by Billy Wilson and used via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:




The project is now live. Thanks, folks.

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I took my inspiration from the church bells that I can hear on quiet Sunday mornings.

This is my first time recording my singing bowls and they seem to peak a little.


A bit of long winded background on this track!

This week’s assignment made me think about sound and music in a domestic setting, especially during the pandemic. A couple of my projects from this year have explored various aspects of this; such as the perceived absence of sounds, heightened awareness and sensitivity to sound, etc. However in the instance of this assignment I thought about something a little more broadly tied to my domestic life throughout the year, and it concerned the presence of my smartphone.

Like everyone else this year, I’ve attempted to strike out a sensible balance between work, life and everything in between. On the chance I’ve been out, I’ve been doing a lot less of it and spending way more time at home, keeping in touch with folks over my phone. Of course, the myriad of ‘things’ associated with a smartphone that gnaw away at attention spans, distract, heighten anxiety and leave one feeling pretty listless.

Rather than throw my phone across the room, lately I’ve taken to relocating it out of arm’s reach. A good example of this is if I’m on the couch attempting to read a book and my phone is to the side, I’ll place it on the floor and tap it firmly (like a hockey puck)to a far edge of the living room, almost out of sight.

On one occasion I did this, the phone slid to the other side of the room and mysteriously started playing a piece of Rolf Julius’ ‘small music’. Given that a majority of Julius’ sound art was composed with the specific intention of being heard from various vantages within acoustic space, often broadcast from lo-fi speakers, the behavior of my smartphone creeped me out a bit.

So, when I got this week’s Junto I thought I’d use that perculiar scenario as the inspiration for my track. As a piece of music to be heard from the other side of the room, emanating from the tiny speakers of a smartphone at a low-ish volume.

I recorded some brief excerpts on electric guitar and copied these onto three micro SD cards that were inserted into TipTop One sample players on my modular synth. These were triggered by random clocks and their signal subsequently manipulated by a couple of filters, then chopped, held and flipped by a looping delay.

There a short video below documenting some of the wiggling on the modular.


This projects somehow suits what I am working on this week, that seldom happens, and I’ll jump into it.
I got back the masters for several tracks I did for a publisher many years ago (2006-2007), it was for a documentary about high altitude deserts around the world, "music to be heard in vast desolate spaces like high altitude mountains and plateau " was the pitch.

This particular long master (I took at least 4 tracks out of it) was recorded from the distance indeed: I performed some tracks in Buenos Aires, Argentina, other tracks were recorded with Miguel Ballumbrosio in Paris, France and my pal Manuel Miranda recorded his flutes in Lima, Peru.

This one (as the track I posted just yesterday here) are part of that series and I’m in the process of re-thinking, remixing and recycling, giving a new life to these forgotten instrumentals.

Yesterday track was “Jujuy meet Arizona”, this one is pure LA PUNA, an average 3500 meters height desert/plateau where this kind of simple, powerful folk melodies resonate from the distance. The de-facto percussion instrument is the “Bombo Legüero” a bass drum I have here and that you can supposedly hear a league away. (that’s what legüero signifies)

DD: bombo leguero, rain stick, small percussion, acoustic bass guitar.
Miguel Ballumbrosio: Cajon peruano
Manuel Miranda: Flutes

Remixed Friday 16th October, Paris France.

Cheers, DD


excellent ringing drone for vast spaces.
FWIW, singing bowls, like most bells, are a bastard to record when hit with a hard mallet, but one of my Tibetan bowls came with a felt (or suede) covering the tip of the fat stick and it’s really sweet on microphones and ears.


The playlist is now rolling:

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Daniel, this happens every week. Joking aside, this one really fits the theme perfectly.


ha ha, all the time not really, last week the prompt took me places, I wasn’t in that mood at all

but this week was perfect timing.


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I’ve been gone for a while. I’m happy to see and hear you all once again. I imagined this being played on some shitty earbuds from some kid in a hoodie that you’re stuck next to in a subway… I weirdly miss that sort of closeness of strangers.


In this imaginary brief gig, due to social distancing measures the pianist is to our left in a wooden kitchen. The bass is in front at Wembley stadium. The percussion section is over on our right in a big cave and our other musician is also to the right in Manchester Palace Theatre.

An experiment in sound and distance using convolution reverb.
Best enjoyed with headphones.

Mostly Improv with korg kaosillator and some drums from Opera rotas. Various convolution verbs and some pure magnetik plugins.


Against a Space
• Key: A/C#m/Am/E/G#m BPM: 20 Time signature: 4/4 DAW: Reaper
• Vsti Instruments: Arp 2600, Ban di, Synth
• Plug-ins:Analog Lab 4. DSK Asian Dreamz, Massive X and an organ sample
• Since it sounds like heavy equipment or machines from a very long distance away I think it would best be listened to from a short distance away maybe 12 feet or the next room


This was inspired by John Lennon’s song “Scared” from Walls and Bridges. I added different types of echo in different places to make it sound from a distance.



Yes, one of the mallets I was using had suede around it.

I think I need to tap the side of the bowls rather than the rim to reduce the transient, but also used a transient-shaper to try and reduce that in this recording.

Probably should’ve tried putting the microphone further away too, I guess.

That would’ve suited this exercise.

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“Southwestern Desert” was made a couple of months ago and released under a new band name of mine, Vibrating Wires, but it was definitely crafted to be “heard from afar”, and at a reduced volume. Visually, I see it as driving down a desert highway at night, perhaps under a full moon, and observing an eerie landscape. I was also thinking about the alleged UFO abduction of Barney & Betty Hill, although they were in New Hampshire.

During the summer of 2020, I bought a lap steel guitar, a Behringer NR300 Noise Reducer pedal, and hooked all that up to my Empress Reverb box.

“Southwestern Desert” was created in one take with just editing on the ends.

The photo is by me, taken Friday, August 14th, of an electrical substation built about a half mile from my house. I took the photo about 5:30am or so. Our home’s power had been knocked out in the Derecho wind storm that swept through Iowa on August 10th. My family had been staying at a motel about 45 minutes south that had power, and I was informed that the power had been restored to our home late on Thursday evening, so I drove up early on Friday to take care of some things. Seeing the power on at the substation was an excellent sign. That photo is way cool, too. I just pulled my smartphone out and “snap”. No post-processing either. I got lucky with that one.

Mark Rushton: https://www.markrushton.com


This is all quite cool. What does the noise reducer bring to your setup? Several of the disquiet folks play pedal and/or lapsteel.

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Did you take that picture? Please say yes and let me know a story as to how, even if it is not true. I’d probably lose my cool, but I would love to play in a place like that.


You can probably do this with a doppler effect plugin :slight_smile:


i often listen to music in this way; i like the way it drifts in from another room on the cusp of liminality, how you can catch a different melody on the wrong beat

i amplified the noise from my soundcard and eq’d to make it a bit more listenable
played something slow and drifting in iris 2. further blurred with paulstretch and izotope vinyl
slow beat pitched right down and muffled with supermassive


I have reinterpreted the assignment to make music intended to be heard from afar and composed music to be listened to as normal at the volume the listender is accustomed to. The distanced listening position is integrated into the composition. First of all I used two lo-fi recordings of hoovering noises that I made through a closed door as the primary sound material. I looped these field recordings and modified them gradually in the course of the piece. The piece is sounding from a distance from start to end.