Disquiet Junto Project 0492: Kintsugi Rework

Disquiet Junto Project 0492: Kintsugi Rework

The Assignment: Employ the Japanese technique of mending broken ceramics as a metaphor for remixing.

Step 1: This week’s project explores the ceramic method called “kintsugi.” If the term is unfamiliar, read up on it a bit. Here’s a description from an article in the Washington Post: “That means ‘golden joinery’ in Japanese, and it refers to the art of fixing broken ceramics with a lacquer resin made to look like solid gold. Chances are, a vessel fixed by kintsugi will look more gorgeous, and more precious, than before it was fractured.”

Step 2: Consider how kintsugi can be employed, through metaphor, as a means to rework/remix an existing piece of music.

Step 3: Take an existing track, perhaps one of your own, and by some means “break” it.

Step 4: Take the “broken” piece of music from step 3 and make it whole by employing a musical adoption of kintsugi.

Source for above quote, from art critic Blake Gopnik: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/02/AR2009030202723.html

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0492” (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 “disquiet0492” (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:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0492-kintsugi-rework/

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, June 7, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0492” 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 492nd weekly Disquiet Junto project – Kintsugi Rework (The Assignment: Employ the Japanese technique of mending broken ceramics as a metaphor for remixing) – at: https://disquiet.com/0492/

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-0492-kintsugi-rework/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by Kate, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/jEFjbJ

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

5 Likes

The project is now live.

I started with an old piece of mine called “The Oxen”. For the seams, I tried different MIDI pitch effects, but none of them worked. The instrument used in the original piece is “Organ2 Church Slow”. I found another more atmospheric instrument in the same family, called “Muted2 S & H” and I doubled the original voices with it. I’m not even sure what that instrument is, exactly, but I think it adds a nice, golden aura. At first, I thought the seams should be thin like cracks. But that didn’t sound quite right, so I had the golden seam effect permeate the whole thing, but only one voice at a time. You can see that here:

Perhaps I could have made the seams thinner by fading them in and out, but I didn’t think of that until I was done. And I like the sound as it is. So the metaphor isn’t exact, but it’s close.

4 Likes

Hey, I decided to rework a all-percussion track I finished two days ago and posted for the weekly haiku challenge here
I added a layer of an orchestral track and broke the percussion master to create holes where the orchestral score pops up. Then , on some places I played with filters to make the orchestral layer “leak” through the percussive parts. It was fun.

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I took my very first ambient track “Rad”. Simple electronic ambient.
Cut it down, stretched, pitched, added effects and made a new ambient drone version.

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utilized my offering for disquiet0487 and gave it the live-point-and-click-adjustments granular treatment in Reason using Grain. In a transition space and wanted to make sure I could actually make this happen this week, so its nice and simple.

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I took an existing varispeed dictaphone recording and added the sounds of broken instruments with a number of cassette tape loops.


Koma field kit was used as a mixer for the two cassette players and I think four loop cassettes made from cassette ‘rejects’ and the rejected tape inside. The sounds of one cassette was fed to the envelope follower on the field kit .The trigger of this to the DM77 drum module (updated Coron DS-8) for some percussion sounds.

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One of my father’s many hobbies was stained glass. Shortly after he passed away 15 years ago one of the last pieces he made fell and shattered. My mother was devastated, but my brother took those broken pieces and reworked them into a new piece of art. The result was different, but equally beautiful. This prompt reminded me of that.
As a young teen at the height of the early 90s grunge explosion I was not quite devastated, but definitely upset when my cassette of Pearl Jam’s Ten broke and became unplayable. My dad inadvertently sent me on the way to tape loops and other audio manipulation by showing me how to transplant the key magnetic tape from its broken case into a new host. It was still alive! This prompt also reminded me of that.
So here’s a slowly deteriorating looping snippet of Pearl Jam held together by the glue of Canadian legend Stuart McLean telling the only slightly altered end of a story about a disastrous trip to a summer cottage where everything goes wrong, but still ends up golden. I grew up on a small acreage, and every out building had a radio tuned to the CBC, because that’s what my dad wanted to listen to. Although both Stuart McLean and my dad have passed away, listening to the Vinyl Cafe remains audio comfort food of the highest order to me.
All just pieced together in Audacity.

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The playlist is now rolling:

1 Like

Crikey, it’s been awhile! Life has been, well…busy to say the least. Looking forward to getting back into this again. :slight_smile:

I took a piece of music I’d recently made to simply practice key changes on guitar and keyboards. It’s a fairly relaxed jazz styled track with piano, Rhodes keyboard and an electronic drum pulse.

I ‘broke’ it by recording the whole track to a reel on my Morphagene module, which can do all manner of granular manipulation to audio.

My process of ‘kintsugi’ consisted of taking the output of the Morphagene and feeding it through a couple of slow sweeping LPF’s and then a dual looping delay.

The parameters of the Morphagene are also controlled by slow rate LFOs. Rather than let the whole thing drift along, I applied a bit of hands-on steering of the sonic narrative.

The reconstruction renders the original track into a ghostly echo of its previous incarnation, full of broken lines, discontinuities and unexpected harmonies.

I imagined a beautifully reconstructed black bowl, lined with discrete veins of gold, glimmering in a dusk as the sun sets.

4 Likes

My source material comes from 2015 and features my son Oscar singing the soundtrack to the game Earthbound (also known as Mother).

There’s this deal I have with my kids that they’re entitled to a ‘no questions asked’ day off school each term, so I think Oscar was home for one of those days.

I can’t recall how we ended up recording his a cappellas, but it’s likely he was singing and I suggested we try recording.

The result was fantastic!

Last weekend Oscar and I recorded another song from the Mother series for an assignment.

He had wanted to recreate a piano and we’d found that Ableton Live’s conversion to MIDI produced a disappointing result.

So when the Junto instructions suggested fixing a broken vessel, I had an idea I could ‘break’ the track using the conversion process and then repair it using softer instruments.

However, I don’t think this result is “more gorgeous, and more precious, than before it was fractured.”

5 Likes

I have not taken part in the disquiet junto project since last year but on reading the email this week I instantly felt inspired. The concept described was very close to the way I love to work with source materials and pull them apart to create ambient sounds and textures, very much like Kintsugi process discussed.

For this piece I took one of my all time favourite ambient works by Brian Eno and pulled it apart. There are 3 layers of granular work recorded over the top of each other in different octaves. They start as one solid drone type texture and split apart into piano fragments then return again to the wholesome texture in the end. Similar to the breaking apart of things and the healing process.

I have enjoyed the process and the piece, hoping to have done it justice :slight_smile:

5 Likes

An unpublished electronic track, randomly split into sections & rejoined using a recurring patch, with minor variations or adjustments along the way.

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Here’s an amalgam of duets from halF unusuaL’s initial contribution earlier this year. I did several versions of this based on Chopin’s “chord” prelude that I’d never finished. Here I’ve flipped some grains around and sent the rhythm track to my spring tanks on the other side of the stereo field. Was going to do some more cuts but I’m not sure I could get it more twisted than this.

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After rummaging through some old tracks I found one that was straight beat with some string-based chords. I “broke” it by removing all effects and processing. Then I applied a golden phased reverb pasted across the whole track :slight_smile:

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in iris 2 i reduced the buffer size and number of buffers right down
this made it stuttery with lots of clicks
i added some supermassive gold, audacity reverb and rx7 de-click
this crossfades throughout the track

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Again an inspiring project, thank you Marc !

I chose the track “Hannahs Influence” that I created one year ago. I have uploaded it to SoundCloud only last week.

Since in Kintsugi the pieces are put together like in the unbroken object, I chose the following approach:

  • I determined the cracks of the piece by throwing 5 dice to determine the size of the shards in beats, and applied them in their order to the track
  • I decided on the size of each crack and deleted the original music for this width around the crack
  • I filled the cracks with the musical golden glue
  • Since the golden fissures give the whole object a new appearance I added some golden touch to the whole track.

The golden glue is made of the Spitfire BBC Orchestra (Strings, Brass, Woodwinds and Harp) and a grand piano. The golden touch to the original track are piano sounds from the Hauschka Toolkit. Everything was created in Cubase.

3 Likes

Really interesting prompt. Got me thinking about both how to bind together a broken track, but also how to break a track.

I am at the moment limited to working on my Octatrack. I sampled my own track Bank 11 and entered a pattern in the sequencer whilst 2 LFO’s changes the sample start parameter (the first 30 sec of the track is this). Then I added some samples and played around until it sounded cohesive. The original track drops out for the last 20 seconds or so.

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Moshi Moshi, Junto! I myself am a Psion Enter and a family of complete crushing and prevention conglomerates presently living alone with Mr. Sparkles of poodle in Tokyo, Japan. This family manufactures a large number of expensive dedicated machines to produce the random sounds I sell to MNC. I myself used Sparkles to test the audience with the push of a button. Conditionally turning his head to the side will indicate the sound is well. Conditionally shake his tongue to himself, the melody is sweet. Conditionally running and hiding in himself, perhaps he ironically wabi sabi … a feeling that hes not yet well developed. If he does not improve this, I may have to return him. He only eats turtle soup now so it is very expensive! While testing these algorithms in todays work, we listen to our favorite Earth singer Karen Dalton make Mr PSarkles swoon.

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