Disquiet Junto Project 0482: Exactly That Gap

This week’s Disquiet Junto project is a collaboration with @marcus_fischer. Instructions appear below and went out, as always, via Disquiet Junto by Marc Weidenbaum (Disquiet.com).

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Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, March 29, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0482: Exactly That Gap

The Assignment: Make a musical haiku following instructions from Marcus Fischer.

The following is lightly adapted from instructions by Marcus Fischer titled “Sound Haiku and Constraints in Composition.”

Background: Sound can be descriptive, emotional, and transportive or it can also be abstract when edited to be disconnected from a recognizable source and recontextualized in a composition. Michael Welch, an Adjunct Poetry Professor at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, states that the haiku "gains its energy by the intuitive or emotional leap that occurs in the space between the poem’s parts, in the gap of what’s deliberately left out. …The art of haiku lies in creating exactly that gap, in leaving something out, and in dwelling in the cut that divides the haiku into its parts.”

Instructions: Construct a Sound Haiku from a series of two-second “syllables” made from recordings you have captured. A traditional haiku is a poem written in three sections of five syllables, seven syllables, and then five syllables. Only seventeen syllables in all. Your audio recordings should be arranged into three sections of ten seconds, fourteen seconds, and then ten seconds, with each section separated by a pause of four seconds of silence.

Once you decide on a theme, try to focus each section of your haiku around aspects of that theme with noticeable contrasts in between each each two-second syllables. Keep in mind that gap between the parts and the power of that pause.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0482” (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 “disquiet0482” (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, March 29, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track will be, per the instructions, roughly 42 seconds.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0482” 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 482nd weekly Disquiet Junto project – Exactly That Gap (The Assignment: Make a musical haiku following instructions from Marcus Fischer) – 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 Marcus Fischer, used by permission.


The project is now live!

I tried to give it a Far Eastern, Gamelan sound. I used a pentatonic scale. I kept to the prescribed number of syllables and space, but decided that reverb and echo was not cheating.


This morning I tried to write a haiku about how recent rainfalls threatened the holiday I have planned for Easter.

In my head it seemed right to make the cutting line about the balance having water at its lowest point.

Anyway, I’m no closer to writing the haiku but could see the imagery for the Junto activity this week.


I decided I would do this first thing in the morning, and of course I didn’t read to the part stipulating one iteration. Anyway once I got into it I hit kind of a groove. Hope this is ok!

The source audio is the performance of the National Anthem at the CPAC 2021 conference. The anthem was notable for its postmodern approach to tonality. I chopped it up into individual notes and have been using it for various things and I thought it would be nice for this.

the interesting thing about the audio, and about the human voice in general, is the incredible tonal richness. Slowed down it sounds like a deep cello. I ran the audio at various rates. I applied some panning, reverb and echo for depth too.

Anyway, this is about as decontextualized as could be! In addition to the obvious decontextualization from the original song and context, the fact that the tonic note is lost means that the key and mode become ambiguous. When I listen to the works based on these samples my mind is searching for the key. It’s not a bad feeling (for me at least). Curious!

Code is here: happy to share the samples if someone wants to fiddle with them. I have various other versions of the code that launch chords and so forth.


In this track I used sounds from freesound.org by: Maria_Mannone (flute), steffcaffrey (cymbal), dobroide (Madrid crowd) and cms4f (cello). And I used a VCV-rack recording and my time stretched voice reading the haiku (I hope its a haiku…)
Madrid murmuring / Growing unrest in the air / Leaving just silence


I love when instructions are clear like this one! It’s easy to follow rules when rules are so simple and straight forward, love it.
the “recordings I captured” is me playing notes on instruments (organ, piano, synthesizer) , so:

00:00 First sentence, 5 notes (G-E-C-D-Bb)
00:10 Pause
00:14 Second sentence, 7 notes (A-Bb-G-F-C-E)
00:29 Pause
00:33 Third sentence, 5 notes (G-Bb-E-C-F)

I added a final D minor chord, just for the sake of it. Sorry for that. (the haiku should end at 00:48 really)



I used some primitive sound sampling and repitching, laid down a simple drum pattern and overlaid some found sound of a crowd chattering.


Nice to see people taking on this project so quickly.
Don’t forget the silence between sections!


A piano and Rhodes from Equator 2 into Wires form the sounds here. There’s just the motor sounds of the wire recorder for the first four seconds which I used as a count in with the metronome.
Hope all are well. Thanks again Marc :slight_smile:


Digging everyone’s work here thus far, all these sweet self-contained pieces.

My track this week is created in Ableton (got the 90 day trial last week) of snippets from 3 different recordings: a field recording of water dripping under my deck, some clicks & mic crackle, and a short loop from the eurorack. Chopped into 2 second syllables and then I played on repeat for a while as I played around with some of the resonators & reverbs until I settled on the finished product.

I was going for a late-winter-into-spring vibe. Feels like the sun comes up a bit on the last part.


Hey Juntistas. That was quite fun wasn’t it?

I read ‘made from recordings you have captured’ to mean recordings that I had pre-haiku, so went wading through voice notes and field recordings. I normally feel inspired to record by sounds I hear away from home, so there are a lot of miles covered in this 40 odd seconds:

  • some guys playing mahjong in Guangzhou
  • an ice hockey game in Boston
  • rain hitting a drainpipe in Rome
  • voicemail from an airbnb host in Landers
  • cellist in the stairwell of Somerset House
  • piano-tuning at my friend’s house
  • jungle sounds from Penang

At the risk of sounding incredibly trite, this Haiku is full of movement for a year in which many of us have been confined to our locality by our respective governments, and I hope that you enjoy the journey.

That said, it begins and ends close to home: the intercom button of my apartment block and my neighbour’s dog barking.

Process-wise, the recordings are passed through a vocoder with an OB-XD (virtual Oberheim) as the carrier with the dry signal mixed back in. There’s a plug-in creating some random variations on how the chord is voiced with each syllable. I also layered in some sub bass, because I love bass music.

Greets from London and much thanks for this community x


For this challenge, Exactly That Gap, I composed a short piece (which I have called “Mind the Gap”), comprised of a series of chords in C minor using software piano and ethereal voices from Kontakt. I like these projects that force you to get it all in before the doors close on you.


Very spooky sounding!


Woo! I got my inputs working this time! Small victories people. I chose Bach Cello Suites to base my musical haiku on.

I recorded two second snippets from most of the movements at random places from the 1st Suite in G Major (first line of the Haiku-5 syllables), 2nd Suite in D Minor (second line of the haiku- 7 syllables) and 5th Suite in C minor (third line of the Haiku- 5 syllables). Some movements had to be left out, but I did include syllable snippets from the first and last movements of all three suites for sentence clarity.

The recordings are of me playing my viola. I have played most of the movements recorded in performance recitals over the years. (spoiler alert, I have two music degrees). For the recordings I have a Rode M3 microphone which I set up roughly 18 inches from my instrument. For mixing and finishingI put myself in a concert hall with some saturation and upper ceiling limiting. Overall it was a nice quick project with refining my speed editing “quick and dirty” recording.

Very Pleased with the result. Hopefully I did the hashtag on soundcloud correctly this time to end up on the playlist!


Silence is definitely the hardest part, I did fill a bit of it with some reverb tails but made sure there was a complete silence between the parts.

My piano was in front of me so I went to that to start the track. I tried to build the two second syllables quickly without over thinking it too much, and figured they would have jagged start/stops. Unfortunately, they actually flowed pretty easily from one to the other so I played with the panning to really break up the syllables.

Ended up throwing a low pass EQ over all of it in Ableton, as some of the piano lines had some harsh higher harmonics.


As an educator I relish clear and simple sometimes too! I love yours! so peaceful!


My approach was to use only recordings from inside the house. More specifically, only contact mic recordings. The recordings used include: a toilet, a sink draining, a waste disposal unit, a shredder and my digital piano (it was off, so only the action). The samples were processed on my MPC, with relatively little in the way of cuts, but quite a few effects. I arranged them according to the specifications.

As for how successful it was, I feel like I didn’t really capture the concept of a haiku, except in form. The sounds and contrast worked reasonably but the silence doesn’t feel well accented, or necessary. Doing it again I think I’d “work out from the silence” more. I’d also probably find more things to sample and make something more intricate. Moreover the sections have a character each, but not necessarily the diversity and individual focus I feel was warranted, especially by something so short. Anyway: thanks for another fun prompt.


I did leave 4 second silence between phrases! but something quickly inhabited it, decays, reverbs, you know…pollution.

Silence is not what it used to be…