Disquiet Junto Project 0515: Talking Cure

As always, instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto.

This week the Disquiet Junto project is available in 10 languages, including English. The translations were done by Pedro Figueiredo (Portuguese), Giacomo Fiore (Italian), Merlijn van Horssen (Dutch), Niki Korth and Elisabeth Ajtay (German), Łukasz Langa (Polish), Clémence de Montgolfier (French), Kamen Nedev (Spanish), Vassilis Poulantzas (Greek), and Van (Mandarin). And major thanks to Alexis Martinez Felix.

More about the group exhibition this is part of at thebigconversationspace.org.

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, November 15, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at Disquiet Junto by Marc Weidenbaum (Disquiet.com)):

Disquiet Junto Project 0515: Talking Cure
The Assignment: Write music for a psychotherapist’s waiting room.

Step 1. Imagine that you are about to consult a therapist. You are sitting in the waiting room of his/her/their office.

Step 2. Picture some comfortable chairs, abstract artworks on the wall, and some large plants in the corners of the room. The perfect music for this moment is playing out of a high quality, vintage-looking speaker. You are ready for your appointment.

Step 3. Create a piece of music that you imagine hearing in this situation. The duration of the piece is up to you. If you are OK with your work potentially being excerpted, please license it with a CC license that permits derivative works (i.e., any CC license that does not include ND, “no derivative works”).

Background: Selected results from this assignment will be included in the soundtrack of an experimental video series The Talking Cure, currently being produced by visual artists The Big Conversation Space. The Talking Cure will be projected in the group exhibition The Real Show at the contemporary art museum CAC Brétigny, France from January through April 2022 and broadcast on YouTube. The video series will also feature the Disquiet Junto through interviews with Marc Weidenbaum and other Disquiet Junto participants and supporters. The Junto participants whose work is included will be credited by name in the videos.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0515” (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 “disquiet0515” (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 track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your track 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.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, November 15, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you. Tracks selected for inclusion in the project soundtrack may be excerpted.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0515” 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 515th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Talking Cure (The Assignment: Write music for a psychotherapist’s waiting room) — at: Disquiet Junto Project 0515: Talking Cure

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-0515-talking-cure/

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

Image credit: Lamont Hall, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. Waiting room, 1956. Public domain.


And the project is now live. Thanks, everyone, especially @nikikana, for proposing it.


While I’ve never been in a psychotherapist’s office, my impression is that it’d be good to have something ambient with enough variation to mask the possibility of hearing a voice from the next room.

Last weekend a swarm of bees arrived at the end of my driveway and I’d been looking for an opportunity to incorporate this recording into something.

I liked the idea that one might be eased out of the bustle of daily life by hearing something more bustling than human life.

When I studied anthropology I remember a lecturer saying that humans barely fit the idea of society if you look at the lives of insects.

Anyway, as I listened to the looped bees I turned to the bowed vibraphone samples that are one of my favourite ambient instruments.

After exporting a two-minute version to loop, I realised it didn’t work as seamlessly as I’d like.

So I went back and created this four-minute version, which was almost the limit of my bee recording.


“i hate these comfortable chairs almost as much as i hate those stupid paintings. they’re trying to pacify me. i’m gonna throw those fucking plants through the goddamn window…”

i’ve been on a steady diet of metal, punk, hardcore and grindcore for the last two months. it is my psychotherapy, and i’m the happiest i’ve been in years.

rhythm inspired by prong’s cover of chrome’s “third from the sun.”


I have spent countless hours in the therapist’s waiting room. Internal tape loops that played continuously as I faced many challenges. It was quite a powerful experience to work through a series of emotions and create what essentially turned out to be a series of cues all based on this innocent and intimate theme. I have used the original tune and filtered through various psychic states" bipolar, agitated, dementia, depression, etc.
If you are interested in the full playlist look for it on my SoundCloud page under “In The Waiting Room.”
Thank you all for listening and for your feedback.
Be safe and be well.


For “Bardominium”, I wanted a sound reminiscent of a Marpac Dohm noise machine, but with vague extras.

This is the “40 second version”.

To achieve this, I combined sections of tracks by my side group Aleodeology. These tracks are titled “Aleodeological Travel”, “Industrial Terminal”, and “Significant Mallets”. I also mixed in a bunch of homemade loops created from the Korg IMS-20 iPad app .


I’ve been married to a Psychoanalyst for many decades now. Waiting room music? I don’t know about that…she never had music in the waiting room, never asked me to record something for her; mind… What does it mean doctor?

Anyway, I was recording ebow guitar today so did this jam, guitar, upright bass, ebow guitar, synths.
it was pure “free association”, just played whatever came to my mind on top of the previous tracks.

I have no idea what this is or where this is coming from, so don’t ask me “What do you feel?” or “What do you mean?” etc

it was fun, it would be ok for me to listen to this while in a waiting room, I guess. Or not?




As a music therapist/ambient lover, I’m chomping at the bit to pop my junto cherry with this one… Unfortunately my PC is dying and my new MacBook is awaiting delivery, PLUS I’m going away this weekend. HOWEVER, I’m posting to commit to coming back to it when I can, for the process, if not the possibility of making the soundtrack.

Will look forward to giving others contributions a spin.


From the patients diary: “Sittin in the waiting room listening to the radio. What I hear inside is not what comes from outside. I think. My schizo mind cooks another brew. Rehearses its own music. As ever. Thank you, my busy brain. We need to talk.”

All sounds EMU Morpheus. Sequenced by Flame Six in a Row


The playlist is now rolling!


i’ve been on a steady diet of metal, punk, hardcore and grindcore for the last two months. it is my psychotherapy, and i’m the happiest i’ve been in years

well, you realize that now you have to put together a therapeutic hardcore-metal playlist the make us happier, don’t you?



This had two inspirations:

  • ‘In “The Lyrics,” McCartney talks about his delight early on in matching a descending chord progression (G to G7 to C) with an ascending melody and speculates that he might have picked up maneuvers like that from listening to his father, who had led Jim Mac’s Jazz Band—and from his “aunties” singing at holiday parties at home.’ —from "Paul McCartney Doesn’t Really Want to Stop the Show" by David Remnick
  • I wanted to practice second-species counterpoint. This was part of an attempt to make the music smooth and relaxing. I also chose the instrumentation with that in mind.

Hey All, Why yes I have waited in such a chamber. People used to peruse the magazines but now everybody stares at their phones. Sometimes the medication is off and sometimes it is on but it is always set to stun. Marriage counseling to find reasons to stay or go. It is always to go. To go somewhere, to change into something else or to escape and find an excuse. When the excuses run out you’re really in trouble. Letting the ego be your smeagol.What is your precious? What’s in your wallet? How much is the co-pay?

Hope all are well. Peace, Hugh


This is “Le sujet-supposé-savoir”, my contribution to this week’s project. When pondering this week’s theme of Talking Care, and the context of a therapist’s waiting room, I was prompted to think about psychoanalysis, Mladen Dolar’s inquiry into the implications of the voice in “The Voice and Nothing More”, and, eventually, to sample the voice of Jacques Lacan.

Mladen Dolar says:

“The voice may well be the key to the presence of the present and to an unalloyed interiority, but it conceals in its bosom that inaudible object voice which disrupts both. (…) This object embodies the very impossibility of attaining auto-affection; it introduces a scission, a rupture in the middle of the full presence, and refers it to a void—but a void which is not simply a lack, an empty space; it is a void in which the voice comes to resonate.”

The actual methodology consisted in the time-tested procedure of breaking down the vocal sample via granular synthesis, and working with the abstract results.

Admittedly, the result would only be adequate therapist waiting room background music for a very specific demographic sub-group, but hey, nobody says Merzbow can’t go see a therapist, right?

So here it is.

Original vocal samples are from the first few seconds of this well-known clip of Jacques Lacan giving a lecture:


Like some of you, I’ve had my experiences with psychotherapist’s and their waiting rooms. The first thing that came to mind: the biggest mistake is not to play music in the waiting room at all. Being alone with your thoughts, the soft murmur of someone behind the door, and maybe your nerves playing a part… So I wanted to come up with something soft (not aggregate like a jazzy elevator muzak). From fitting your sad, melancholy mindset to uplifting without being stupidly happy (like the ice cream truck jingle).

I started with a simple chord progression around Emaj7. This goes round and round, with very little variation, but I feel this fits with being calm. I then played with a generative tool for a while. I took some of those bits and pulled out some melody ideas. Partially playing the melody in A over the Emajor gives it this uplifting feel.
The precussive parts are some melody and bass notes transposed and quantized, so this doesn’t get too wild either.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with what came out. But then again: it might be just a bit soft-pron-ish background for you…

DAW: Samplitude X3
VST: Arturia Solina, TyrellN6, Decent Sample’s PVCtube kontakt instument, stock plugins



First time I’ve taken part in a Junto since 0487 so quite a number of weeks!

Enjoyed this… made me think of why Brian Eno never made an album called Music For Waiting Rooms!


Been cycling through various states of GAS in recent months and decided to strip my workflow back to basics: OP-1 into Serum with various Valhalla DSP and Sound Toys plugins, also with Fors M4L Kit.


My attempt at interpreting and capturing some of the timbres and tonalities on JAB’s amazing Erg Herbe, using my modular system.

Main voicing from Plaits in Harmonic Oscillator mode, with layers of field recording/room foley.


Instead of focusing on the whats coming out of the vintage speakers I turn my ears to the waiting patients experience. Every patience has its own tone.
The term psychotherapy was first used by Walter Cooper Dendy. Ideas further evolved by Hippolyte Bernheim (what a name - Hippolyte). Sigmund Freud made the psychotherapy a hit in Europe. Correct me if I’m wrong. Even if it’s too late…
I use the first two “notes” in these three gentlemen’s names (Walter => A and E).
I get A E H E D F. The waiting patients tones.
Sound from analog modular synth. I use the module “diode chaos” controls the rhythm, envelope and timbre of the tones. Had to use a chaos module for this assignment. Recorded and mastered with my digital Tascam. No editing in computer (I changed the file name).