Disquiet Junto Project 0497: Benjamin's Glass

Instructions as always go out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto.

Disquiet Junto Project 0497: Benjamin’s Glass

The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica

As the 500th Disquiet Junto project approaches, we’re revisiting some of the earliest projects. This was the third project, back in January 2012. Note that unlike later projects, it wasn’t listed as a series of steps:

This project is in honor of Benjamin Franklin, after whose Junto Society our little group was named. In an effort to expand and refine the glass harp, Franklin developed his own lathe-like glass harmonica, which he called the “armonica.” Marie Antoinette took lessons on it and Beethoven composed for it, but Franklin’s invention proved expensive and fragile, and it had a limited lifetime. And it may have given its frequent users lead poisoning.

You are not being asked to build a Franklin armonica. But like Franklin, we are going to expand on the glass harp. In our case, we are going to do so digitally.

You’re being asked to use the more common instrument, the glass harp. That involves the familiar “rubbing the top of a wine glass that has water in it” approach:


The Junto assignment is to record a live performance on the glass harp, and to employ live processing in the performance. There should be no post-production. And there is no length limit for the piece, though I would suggest that anything over 15 minutes may limit the size of your potential audience.

There is additional information in the project’s original post, which is from January 30, 2021:


Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0497” (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 “disquiet0497” (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, July 12, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 8, 2021.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0497” 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 497th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Benjamin’s Glass (The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica) – at: https://disquiet.com/0497/

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-0497-benjamins-glass/

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 Peter Roan, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:




The project is now live. Thanks, everyone.


Two wineglasses filled with different levels of water, steadily emptied during the live performance. The resonances from the wineglasses are routed through an EXH Memory Man, with parameters (feedback, delay time, depth and pitch) manipulated in real-time.

I particularly enjoyed finding the feedback’s sweet spots with the resonances and exploiting this liberally. :slight_smile:


Hey, I tired to record my wine glasses in the past, and it proved to be very frustrating, the noise, the blur pitch, it was a nightmare (I need to blend those glasses with real strings so pitch and quietness was crucial)
So I got sample of professional chamber bowls, went to a great studio here in Paris , on the Philarmonie, were they have all the glass instruments I needed, it was a dream come true: glass harmonica, a real crystal baschet, and tons of bowls and pure crystal wine glasses.
Anyway, I used those samples today to create this tiny little piece for you, you’ll hear the rubbed bowls, a backdround pad with the glass harmonica samples and my upright bass (pizz and bowed on the cadenza)
Love to all


I misread this and didn’t do a completely live performance. I used overdubbing to create four tracks of glasses, each tuned differently. Even with accidentally breaking the rules, my track this week was pretty mundane.

After listening to what others did and taking into account my lack of outboard processing equipment, I decided it was better to bend (or, rather, break) the rules rather than put out something that totally sucked. And I had already spent quite a bit of time playing by the rules and getting nowhere.

So I added a Gamma Rays Chorus effect to each of the four glass tracks. To top it off, I added a Loop Rhythmic Changer Corpus effect to the master track.

It’s definitely not Paul McCartney, but it could be (it was) worse.


Misreading is totally welcome.


I learned a bit in the process. It certainly wasn’t a total loss and it’s a valid assignment.

OK, this is a slightly sideways approach to the prompt, but here goes…

A few years ago I was at my parents’ house and doing the washing up with my younger brother. I discovered by chance that a wet saucepan with water in it worked in much the same way as the classic wine glass, only bigger and better! So I recorded several tracks of myself playing said saucepans. I then layered these recordings up, in a tribute to Tony Conrad’s majestic ‘Four Violins’. This was the first project I ever did in Reaper, and I hadn’t quite figured out the ways of my Zoom recorder yet, so the gain was a little high and so the recording peaked at various points.

I think this fits the spirit of the prompt: this is essentially a glass harmonica if it were made of metal, and no post-processing was used: just like Tony, the only ‘extra’ sound impact comes from the live over-gaining and the layering of the four tracks. And just like this prompt, this piece has been released once before, as my contribution to a tour compilation CDr, although I’d be very impressed if anyone here had encountered it before as only 50 copies were made.

Forgive the indiscretions, but this was immediately the obvious and only thing for me to put forward here.


The playlist is now rolling:

Out here in the woods, it was slim pickings in the stemware department. I played the 3 that I could find and processed it live through the Mimeophone and Erbe Verb on the Make Noise SS… kicked in a Golden Cello distortion at the end. I was hoping for a nice violin like effect from the Golden Cello, but it came out pretty gnarly… of course I kept it. I just happened to throw my Korg MS-04 pedal in the bag when I came up here, so was able to control the optomix for volume swells. That let me get the glass going before I brought it into the mix. The verb and delay kept the drone alive…. Worked out ok and was a fun assignment.


This was a lot of fun! Filled glasses with water and used a tuner to get an A minor scale and some octaves. Then did 3 passes, one for bass, melody and chords each. Processing was some tape echo, a plate reverb and a spectral resonator to add some glue. Edited some notes out afterwards in Ableton that were off.


I thought about cheating with a sampler, because I never believed I would be able to get sound from a glass, but it was a question of honor and it worked! So I started with the glasses and counted: I only have 2. This would not be enough for a hommage to Le Carnaval des animaux, The Aquarium. (Yes: Blame it on the equipment! We need more gear & glasses!) Anyway, let’s go.

I ‘recorded’ the (untuned) glass harps live with a Zoom H5n and sent the line output live to my modular setup, into MI Ears. I multiplied it into two signal paths: One sent the audio to MI Clouds with some usual Clouds mumbo-jumbo and V/OCT played by Makenoise Réne (plus some mixer reverb). The other one (and this is what the track is starting with) was sent to Makenoise Phonogene (and via TC HOF2 to the mixer). The Phonegene looped the glass armonica, later modified by the same CV from Rene that modified Clouds, playing ‘notes’.

The musician fiddled some knobs and cables while rubbing the glasses and tried not to kill the electric devices with wet fingers.

Whoa, that was stressful. Everything is live, audio is only the glass harp the live hardware, no editing, only some mastering at Reaper export. This may be take eight or so, there is another take on soundcloud, which I liked, too, but not as much as this one.


Reading quickly through the other submission and it no longer feels like I was “bending” the rules…:
So I used a sampler. Or to be more specific I used the Octatrack. It enabled me to sample, play and mangle the ‘glass harp’ (read: Ikea wine and port glasses) all at once:

First time for me including a video but I felt it was appropriate and almost necessary since its har to get a feel for what is ‘real’ and what is samples in the final recording.

The process is as follow: A snippet is recorded of the first glass and played back at different pitches on 4 tracks. The same snippet is later used with a pitch envelope to create a drum. The second glass is sampled to a different buffer and played back with heavy compression and some distortion. All tracks have different effects applied. Mostly delays with LFO control of time, distortion and amplitude modulation.
The OT’s master track has a light compressor and some verb.
There is no post processing. In the video I’ve included some audio from camera mic.

Here is a SC link should you prefer to listen only :upside_down_face:


Hi all :slight_smile:

Here’s my track! I wasn’t planning on participating in this one but then got curious on how it would work with my setup.

Process: A sequence was playing on the Matriarch as I filled up this wine glass. I started “playing” it and it was in tune (Bb, I believe). A coincidence which encouraged me to go through with the recording. I mic’d the glass harp through the LMC on the SiX and ran that signal through the Matriarch’s filter and delay. I took live playing and processing seriously - I play the glass with one hand while turning knobs on the Matriarch with the other. The other notes you hear are from the delay module. That’s it :slight_smile: My favorite sounds are actually from the ambient noises (knocks on the wood the glass was sitting on, etc)


This is my first time at live-recording… anything, so keeping it simple. Also I don’t have much time this weekend and I need to go to bed, so also keeping. it simple. Set up Ableton with a few channels that I could start loops on, and looped single notes or small numbers of pings of water-filled glasses into gigantic reverbs to help them become ambient chord pads of a sort. My glasses are tuned like so:


Tuning the glasses! I knew I forgot something … very ethereal track!


Monophonic glass harp with live processing through my Eurorack modular synthesiser.

This assignment was a great way to force myself to explore live processing on my system. Beads is doing most of the heavy lifting here. Lessons were learned - could have used more than one glass (the 1KHz gets old quick) and could have employed silence.


Two wine glasses, tuned almost to fifths. Signal path went from mic to Organelle (slightly modified Granular Freezer Plus), then to a just-out-of-the-box Norns Shield (Barcode).

The percussion sounds are from the Organelle’s wooden buttons (picked up by the mic when manually freezing and unfreezing the granular patch) and from tapping and pressing a cocktail stirrer against the vibrating wine glass.

I don’t recall ever limiting myself in quite this way. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Two glasses through Wingie in chord mode, and the haunted house sings.

Quite stressful to play with water next to electronics, but it was a fun experience!


Playlist is updated as of 7:40am, California time. If I’m missing your track, lemme know: