Disquiet Junto Project 0489: The Prestige

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, May 17, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0489: The Prestige

Assignment: Apply some magic to ABA form.

Thanks to Disquiet Junto member @rbxbx for proposing this.

Step 1: There’s a now famous quote from the opening of the 2006 film The Prestige. It goes as follows. Give it a read:

“Every magic trick consists of three parts – or acts. The first part is called the Pledge. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird, or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it – to see if it is, indeed, real. You know: unaltered, normal. But of course … it probably isn’t. The second act is called the Turn. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now, you’re looking for the secret, but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough. You have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call the Prestige.”

Step 2: This arc, moving from Pledge to Turn to Prestige, can be read as a take on the classic ABA structure, in which a theme is introduced, then something else occurs, and then the piece returns to where it began.

Step 3: Compose and record a piece of music that takes the process described in The Prestige as its blueprint.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0489” (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 “disquiet0489” (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, May 17, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you. Listening can be deceiving.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0489” 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 489th weekly Disquiet Junto project – The Prestige (Assignment: Apply some magic to ABA form) – at: https://disquiet.com/0488/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0489-the-prestige/

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.

For my spell I’ve applied various filters, beginning with the kick drum.

Click here to hear the video on Youtube

Then my drum sounds alternate from the camera’s microphone to a Rode H4 with the kick via a bass speaker.

B form introduces Buckets! I recorded these at Kandos Museum last week as part of a RealArtWorks residency for the Cementa festival later this year.

Then my spells increase in frequency as the filters layer up on all the sounds.


Thanks @rbxbx and Marc for this one, very interesting assignment.


A true master never reveals his secrets.


I might be biased because I’ve been learning the drums lately, but I thought this was a fun interpretation of the prompt and just fun in general :slight_smile:


i wanted the turn to not quite resolve
so it stays in your head and plays in a ghostly fashion during the resolve

2 instances of bazille through supermassive



Made with the lovely Less concepts for Norns.
With Equator 2, Moon kits and vst’s.


I wrote a fugue, which has a sort of ABA form: Exposition, Middle Section, Final Section.

I’m reading an excellent book Classic Keys. I’m on the Hohner Clavinet chapter. So I wanted to do something with a (software) Clavinet that was funky like Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. I’m no Stevie Wonder, but I did my best. I also added a Wah like Garth Hudson on “Up On Cripple Creek” where he plays a Clavinet through a wah.


A little guitar loop that I threw VSTs at until it gave up.



Playlist is updated as of 9:50am Saturday, Pacific Time:

Started with two basslines that would play independent in act 1 and 2, to finally come together in act 3, then created a drumtrack with wooden instrument sounds, added reverb which was gated, as the “suspense” builder throughout. For the “finale” I also added chords and arpeggios of them, played by different instruments.


I wanted to make sure my ABA thing felt like some kind of trick. I’ll hide the trick below, because it might be fun to listen without knowing what’s going to happen.

The trick is...The track changes tempo and changes from triplet 8th beats to straight 16th beats at the same time. The new tempo is 1.5x the original tempo, so in the new tempo the 16ths are the same speed as the triplet 8ths.

I started by creating a random waveform / patch in one VST of my choise, the Iblit. Then i turned the knobs until i was more satisfied with the waveform, something I can better work with and played some minimalistic notes. Then I applied effects, or edits, filters, loop repetitions etc. on the recording. The result is a warm drone sound with a little playful electronic bleep here and there.


Long time, no participation. Luckily, this weekend all of a sudden had available hours - so, what was meant to be the usual 1 minute contribution grew to a unusual long (3 minutes) exploration of a simple theme, turning it into a B-piece and then back again. I made heavy use of “FlexGroove” for Ableton - and layers of plucks (from, amongst others, the great “Chiral” synth). Also featuring a layer of choir samples, with added reversed reverb for “extra ether” :slight_smile:

The prompt this week was very inspiring - and I’m glad to be able to be part of this again - if only for this week.


A section (piano melody, bass, piano, mallets piano and field recording backing tracks)
B section (piano melody is routed to a percussion sample bank, randomly triggering percussive sounds, backing tracks continue)
A section (piano melody returns over backing tracks)

Photo by Javardh-F
Composed and performed by DD May 16th 2021


Hey, you guys remember Strawberry Cough? What a legend! Most of what I know about song structure comes from house music, where you’ll often have a build up, A, a breakdown, B, a main section, AB, another breakdown, C, and then a final reprise of ABC – or something to that effect – so that there are constant breakdowns and reprisals all night long. The Pledge here, in the form of a suggested dub groove, comes from an old Junto assignment I never finished, the Turn – and it’s an extended turn! – focuses on a separate take of the toy piano tune I was playing with the mics pointed out the window again – something of a reprisal from last week, and the Prestige, when it finally comes, redeploys the dub sounds, as if to say, “remember eons ago when you thought I was about to drop a dub groove but instead it was ambient space jazz the whole time? Bamboozled again!” My Audubon Society bird caller arrived in the middle of mixing this, so that is included for fun. And now the rooftop margaritas are calling – I fear things are about to get ugly. AOXOMOXOA!


Thanks, it was a fun prompt to consider. I almost worked with a bird!