Disquiet Junto Project 0466: [ ] Sound Machine

Disquiet Junto Project 0466: [ ] Sound Machine
The Assignment: What sort of sound does your city make?

Step 1: The American comedian George Wallace made an astute observation this week on Twitter: “You never hear about sound machines from other cities. Miami really cornered the market on that shit.” Ponder this.

Step 2: Choose a city (perhaps your own, or one you’ve visited, or one you want to visit, or a fictional one) and share what its sound machine sounds like.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0466” (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 “disquiet0466” (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, December 7, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 3, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you. Cities are both large and small.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0466” 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 466th weekly Disquiet Junto project, [ ] Sound Machine (The Assignment: What sort of sound does your city make?), at:


Project inspired by a December 2, 2020, tweet from George Wallace:


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.


The project is now live. Thanks, everyone. The photo is of the gated front door to the Luggage Store Gallery on Market Street in San Francisco.


Again, the Friday junto time prompts me to jump back in the past to recoup lost and found stuff.
This track has been mixed and edited today Friday 4th December 2020 in Paris, France. But the source audio comes from the last 30 years and from both Buenos Aires and Paris, my main two home towns.

You’ll hear in this track what I remember from Buenos Aires(where I lived for 30 years):
The bandoneon sound as a subliminal soundtrack.
The subway revolving doors noise
The streets, loud with traffic noise and voices.
People playing football in the squares (or almost anywhere), this includes (that strikes me listening to my field recordings today) children and adults playing, yelling, insulting and laughing together.

This mash up includes my recordings of:

Field recordings of Buenos Aires, DAT (Caballito area) 1990
Field recordings of Buenos Aires, DAT (Palermo Viejo area) 1994
Bandoneon (performed by Olivier Manoury) Paris 2010
Electric bass, tapping riff (direct to DAT) Buenos Aires 1992
Bowed upright basses, Paris 2006
Electric piano an drum beats: Paris circa 2005
Lead synth and additional keys Paris 2015

Photo, calle Corrientes by DD circa 1999.


i ran a couple of previous city tracks through protoplasm and supermassive
i was surprised to see i’d named a track ‘notes for a paused city’ a couple of years back. the other one was a recent naviar track called city tone

the pulse is from a black dog sample pack

the track does feel like nottingham to me but i couldnt tell you why.


what a mysterious statement. i like it. they definitely are are.


Perfect JUNTO instructions. Any juntonian should know exactly how long his tracks could be just reading that sentence…
We are all are and small, aren’t we?


Thanks for the catch. I’ve now fixed it above. It’s “large and small.” :slight_smile:



This is my first submission. My current music practice is a mess. Therefore I was very happy to hear about the Disquiet Junto Project when Darwin Grosse talked to Marc in his Art + Music + Technology podcast. I just recently subscribed to the mailing list and my first and foremost goal was to get involved and to actually submit something.

In the podcast with Erik Emil Eskildsen I learned about his composition approach: to build self-running systems in Ableton. So I build a patch in VCV Rack that once started runs in a machine-like way. That’s my sound machine. I did not integrate soundscapes of cities - I use a sample of a very resonant bell from the free collection by Empty Vessel (emptyvessel.co.nz).

This is my interpretation of the assignment.


Had no city style sounds for my area pre-recorded. So took the opportunity to ride as a car passenger today, holding the recorder towards the open window. It was wet and raining…

There was nothing much happening except other cars and a snippet of conversation from some people struggling with a pram in the rain. Some birds can faintly be heard near the end.

So after layering the recordings with different effects and still not being happy, I turned to Norns Patchwork script and Vst’s to brighten up a dark, wet, day.


It’s been quite a while since I’ve participated and I regretted it pretty much every week so I’m hoping to start doing it more regularly again.

I recently bought a harmonix 45000 looper pedal which quickly resulted in me realising I needed a patch bay. I’m in the middle of setting everything up at the moment because I have way fewer cables than I need…! Anyway, while trying to get my head around the patch bay a few days ago I sent some small bits from the OP-1 to the looper. I came across them again today and decided not to throw them away but to use them for this project, I’ve been reflecting on a place I was once at and am no longer at this week and the mood of this captured the nostalgia and melancholy I felt.

I didn’t add anything other than what was in the looper pedal memory, I slowed the tempo a bit and reversed it before sending it into a timefactor delay and added some other effects in Ableton.

I almost threw it away again because I think the frequencies are a bit harsh in it, but figured now is a good a time as any to start again

Edit: Oh and I hit reverse on the looper pedal of course


I screwed together a few beats and sounds and added a lot of field recordings.

You will hear Munich all the time, from birds and beergardens to subways and rainy backyards. The cow at the end is not real Munich, but a bit of a bavarian clichee.


The playlist is now rolling:


December, 2010. Suss Müsik is walking the streets of Barcelona at night. It’s Christmastime, so the city is illuminated in celebration of the upcoming holiday.

Suss Müsik notices a pattern in the decorations. One cobblestone street is lined with circular disks of white light; another has rainbow-colored rectangles hanging from the lampposts. The two streets meet at a public square just a few blocks from La Rambla. Suss Müsik determines this intersection to be the Chromogenic Nexus.

A man is photographing the holiday lights around the square. Suss Müsik watches the man from a distance as he stows his tripod and camera equipment and revs up his motorbike. Suss Müsik mentally assigns this gentleman the job title Keeper of the Chomogenic Nexus. It’s a big responsibility.

The Chromogenic Nexus is the metaphorical congruence that personifies this beautiful, fantastic city. It’s a place where new and old worlds mesh perfectly, where a tour of Casa Batlló concludes with a 3D hologram of Antoni Gaudí waving you goodbye.

The Barcelona Sound Machine embraces this city’s Medieval origins, its Nouveau and Gothic architecture, its love of competitive sport, its cultural fluctuations, its nautical cuisine, its Catalonian nationalism.

It’s an audio landscape inspired by multiple generations of artists. If it were a gallery, it would display the surrealistic paintings of Joan Miró alongside prototypes built by Universitat Autònoma students, the two separated by 100 years and a mere 26 kilometers.

It’s a late-night ride on the FGC, where on the station wall a numeric display counts down incoming arrivals to within a microsecond of accuracy.

It’s the bronzed foam topping on a strong cup of coffee, enjoyed outside while gazing at a store mannequin that seems just a bit too realistic. Next door is a shop that sells nothing but scissors.

To Suss Müsik, ultimately, the Barcelona Sound Machine is a glitchy, multilayered, counterpoint homage to the Keeper of the Chromogenic Nexus. Godspeed to the Keeper, he who balances our understanding of what has taken place and what yet may happen.


Recently I visited family in Australia’s national capital, my former hometown.

So, when thinking about cities, I opted for a Canberra Sound Machine and have made a video at this link.

It probably wouldn’t rate as a city in most northern hemisphere countries and is only a little over 100 years old.

The “bush capital” as it is known, is a series of valleys with nature reserves on the dividing hills.

It also has a lot of roundabouts, which were a big thing in urban planning around the time Walter Burley Griffin won the competition to design Canberra.

So I wanted to make a track that loops around, with fuzzy crests and some Modern features.

I’ve used the M-Tron synth a bit this year, which has a lot of flavour, and was looking for an opportunity to use the Pendulate synth, as well as Rolands 606 and 707 and 808 for kicks.


When I think of my own town it’s the silent nights that comes to my mind. I like that. The calmness. A soft noise maybe a distant fright train. For this I loop a reverb tail, noise from modular and a lovely recording from the Finnish radio made 1978 with a Nagra tape recorder (freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/sounds/324968/). That recording was from the inside of a train, but I just had to use it. I had another idea, but changed track.


Although not exactly a sound picture of the city in a literal sense, while making this track I reflected a lot on the cyclical nature of life there. The track represents the kind of liminal space that I found myself within during my time in that kind of environment.

To break out of my usual compositional routine, I used graph paper to plot out the rhythms of each layer of the sequence.


I couldn’t record the sound of my city as my local lockdown rules are discouraging non essential time out of the house except for exercise and work. Inested I took my Soma Ether out with me when I took my dog for his evening walk. The Ether picked up the buzzes of lamppost, Christmas illuminations, junction boxes and phone masts. (i’d also read that the ether can pick up fields generated by sap rising in trees but when I tried this the trees just acted like a giant antenna and caught snatches of radio)
I loaded the samples onto an iPad, treated them with fx and looped clips in Gauss Field Looper to make a buzzy collage of the electromagnetic contours of my neighbourhood.


traffic samples processed in Norns mostly.was aiming for a kind of underpass dub but its more bouncy than that.


I live next to a highway, not a massively busy one, but still. it ends up sounding like a drone, and that’s where I started. everything else meant to evoke what may be happening outside, though I go out so little these days, who can tell.