Disquiet Junto Project 0461: Goldilocks Zone

Disquiet Junto Project 0461: Goldilocks Zone
The Assignment: Navigate a sonic space between the hospitable and the inhospitable.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the concept of the Goldilocks Zone. In interstellar terms, this is the zone of planetary orbit that, to oversimplify things, is neither too hot nor too cold to support life.

Step 2: Record a piece of music that moves back and forth between two inhospitable zones before finding one, à la Goldilocks and the Three Bears, that is just right.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0461” (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 “disquiet0461” (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, November 2, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, October 29, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0461” 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 461st weekly Disquiet Junto project, Goldilocks Zone (The Assignment: Navigate a sonic space between the hospitable and the inhospitable), 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 from Wikipedia, and use thanks to a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:




The project is now live. Thanks, everyone.


I was fiddling around with a noise machine–one of those things that does white noise, rain sounds, thunder sounds, etc–thinking about circuit bending but first I thought I’d try running it thru a sampler/effects box to see what I could cook up. Turns out the “Rejuvenate” setting produces some alternately soothing and creepy sounds! Great fun–I could do a whole gig with this rig, man. Thanks Brookstone!
Brookstone “Relax, Sleep, Renew” soothing noise machine into Korg Kaoss Pad. (See the picture)The Brookstone is on the “Rejuvenate” setting hence the title.


For my balancing act with Goldilocks I’ve turned to recent recordings, which included a MIDI guitar part that sounded a bit atonal.


made a patch in max/msp that layers 32 voices of fm(with subtle changes over variation arranged consecutively across voices using certain mathematical relationships).
the index of modulation in fm can often create that wide range between discomfortingly harsh noise, and pleasing harmonics. in this track, by controlling the modulation index in subtle ways, the sounds go between dissonant chaos and pleasingly arranged harmonics, feeling much like drifting in and out of a comfortable ‘goldilocks zone’ of harmonicity.


Great title Bassling!


In search of an alternative earth, site one is too cold. Site two is radioactive and home to strange beings with advanced starcraft that have the ability to shut down the ship engines. Finally a new home capable of supporting human life is found… in the goldilocks zone.

A series of multi-layered drones. Site two is comprised of three layered drones from Norns script Dronecaster which is also layered with Haven for Norns. Sanctuary is reached at the third site represented by sound from virtual ANS.


The playlist is now rolling:


cello sample stretched
used the sliding stretch function in audacity
left channel gradually goes from 7.77st to base frequency
right channel from -7.77st to base frequency
then palindromed so it goes out of sync again


EDIT woke up this Sunday morning with the certain certitude that my track was lacking a ukulele part. (George Harrison would claim that every track needs an ukulele part)… so I updated my mix FWIW

I made a parallel accompaniment for a discarded quena (south-american indian flute) performed years ago by my friend the great Luis Rigou.
Completely removed the old acoustic tracks/accompaniment and made a “comfort” one ( a tame groove of pizz strings samples and upright bass C minor pentatonic) and an uncomfortably one (C diminished performed on dystopian orchestral samples and a different flute performed on a different key)

The final mix goes back and forth from the comfort and the disturbing track.


Composed and performed by DD (Friday 30th October 2020) and Luis Rigou (circa 2015)


The human brain processes emotion by categorizing all input according to two responses: sympathetic and parasympathetic (i.e. “fight or flight”). Imagine a graph with two axes: one axis representing a state of stimulation (from excited to calm), the other depicting stimuli as being negative or positive.

In his book The Man Who Lied to His Laptop, the late Clifford Nass refers to these two plots respectively as “arousal” and “valence.” Whether an emotion makes us feel angry, humiliated, serene, jubilant, frightened or something else, the brain’s job is to determine what level of valence or arousal is appropriate for a given situation. Although Nass’s book doesn’t go into the Goldilocks Zone as such, the author does explore how the brain constantly resets itself chemically in an attempt to keep us “just right.”

For this weirdly industrial-sounding piece, Suss Müsik attempted to capture the polarities and nuances between valence and arousal. The main pounding riff (the “arousal” side) was created with a pitch-shifter applied to acoustic guitar. The “valence” side is an analog synth wash combined with audio scans of two-dimensional artwork. The two sides meet somewhere in the middle, thanks to some liberal digital-delay phasing and a Ditto looping pedal.

The piece, entitled Nass, was recorded live to 8-track with no overdubs. The image was created by visual artist B.G. Madden.


Little Jam with three synths 3 days before next lockdown in Germany…


Using my modular I played with dissonance, slight distortion, rhythmic deviations, and voicing to mimic the space between hospitable and inhospitable. I sort of envisioned floating slowly in space between these areas.

I used a piano sample from Octratrack into Morphagene >Qpas>Mimeophon for the pad/rhythmic pattern

Surface, Plaits, and Rings for other voices.

Big Sky Reverb


Some of the sounds remind me of being deep in the parameters of the DX100 a long time ago. This is far more sophisticated though.


Using noise, distortion, etc., I’ve played with sounds that, to me, are on the brink of annoying, but survive in the sweet spot between noisy and musical.

For those curious, I’ve included a small loop created on Polyends’ tracker. some Spitfire chamber samples and 8Dio choir. I’ve had fun with adding isotopes Trash 2 and SoundToys decapitator on a lot of stuff - and I’ve tried to glue stuff together with Valhallas EXCELLENT free reverb.

Thank you, again, for an inspiring challenge. Take care out there!


It’s a little bumpy ride before we enter the Goldilocks Zone. But IN THE ZONE everything feels great. Easy. C major. Simple. At home.
Made with hardware – my laptop :upside_down_face: and a pair of head phones (with built in mic).

Time to listen :headphones:


@Hawthorn and I signed up for Inferno, a project by Cities and Memory to illustrate Dante’s Inferno in sound. The deadline for it is tonight so I obviously spent the last two days on my submission. This Disquiet Junto project influenced the piece a lot so I think it fits both projects. Let’s dive in.

Ptolomea is a part of the Ninth Circle of Hell, holding those who betrayed friends or guests. Their souls descend immediately to hell and their living bodies are possessed by demons when they commit these acts. The sinners cannot weep because the tears freeze in their eyes. Thus, their grief has no outlet in tears, and so the grief turns inward and increases their agony.

Ptolomea is a section of a frozen river in the underworld. My soundtrack illustrates this cold and damp. I used synthesizers instead of going for natural sounds to deepen the sense of desolation. There’s a feel of dread but there are no audible screams or cries as the grief and agony of the sinners frozen in the river is internal. Occasionally the viewer’s attention is turned to a particular detail in sight but ultimately there is no end to the anguish. The song ends abruptly as the viewers notice the banners of Lucifer and move onto the last section of Hell.


Piano by Pianoteq 6, Steinway D with strings elongated to 6.66m.
Eerie chords by a pair of Moog Mother-32s.
Rhythmic bass by Moog Subharmonicon.
Melodic bass by Novation Circuit Mono Station.
Drums by Polyplex, bit crushed to 4 bits.
Reverbs by Raum.
Recorded and produced in Ableton Live.


Key: Ab minor
Tempo: 92 BPM
Meter: 5/4


Goldilocks Region
• Key: Ab BPM: 110 and 120 Time signature: 5/4 and 6/8 DAW: Reaper
• Instruments: Synths, Sampler, Drums
• Plug-ins:Analog Dreams, Reaktor Rounds, Polyplex
• with nearly 500 exoplanets under their belts, astronomers still haven’t found an Earth-size planet in a star’s habitable zone—also known as the Goldilocks region, where things are not too hot, not too cold, but just right for life.— Michael D. Lemonick
• First part of project is the inhospitable world and the second part is the hospitable world or the goldilocks zone


Feels like a trip through unfamiliar land. There’s anxiety and dread but also strangely some peace in the routine, maybe even wonder.

I like how this travels between the comfortable and uncomfortable but never crosses the line of being internally cohesive and ultimately satisfying to the listener. Good job as usual, Daniel.