Disquiet Junto Project 0535: Jigsaw Disjunction

These instructions popped up at disquiet.com/0535 (thank you, powers of automation) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on March 31, and then at twitter.com/disquiet a little further along. (I was asleep at the time.) The email distributing those instructions via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto went out much later in the day, as did this post.

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, April 4, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0535: Jigsaw Disjunction
The Assignment: Break a familiar melody into pieces and play it in a different sequence.

Step 1: Choose a favorite melody. It’s preferable to use one that’s in the public domain.

Step 2: Break the melody into pieces. It’s recommended to think in terms of bars, but you might break it into notes or phrases, or into random segments of time. It’s entirely up to your ear, of course. Experiment until you arrive at a satisfying approach.

Step 3: Play the melody back in a new order, reassembled from the pieces resulting from Step 2. The optimal approach is to do this live: to play the newly reconstructed melody as if it were the original melody. Doing so might take some rehearsal. Alternately, you might use cut and paste or other production techniques.

Step 4: This step is optional. You might include additional instrumentation to flesh out the piece resulting from Step 3, or you could leave Step 3 as it is.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0535” (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 “disquiet0535” (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:

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0535-jigsaw-disjunction/

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.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to marc@disquiet.com for Slack inclusion.

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, April 4, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0535” 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 535th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Jigsaw Disjunction (The Assignment: Break a familiar melody into pieces and play it in a different sequence) – at: https://disquiet.com/0535/

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-0535-jigsaw-disjunction/


“mice three mice mice” recorded today on an ipad mini on the train to Boston from NYC. Notes are in the Soundcloud post.


And the project is now live here, having gone out about 20 hours ago via disquiet.com/0535 and twitter.com/disquiet. Sorry for the delay. I’m traveling at the moment.


I was playing with fractals today. I decided to apply the Cantor set to a piece of music by Bach. I would remove the middle third of the piece, then the middle thirds of the remaining pieces, and so on. But I didn’t want to leave those middle thirds blank, so what I did instead was reverse every middle third. I went down to the level of a single measure.

I didn’t exactly follow the directions but what I did was fun and involved using something I was working on today in another field. So I think it passed the spirit of the rules, if not the letter.


  • J.S. Bach
    • Prelude in C Major
  • Bernd Krueger
    • MIDI transcription

Since Marc has started scheduling the project details to appear online ahead of the email, I’ve spent more time pondering how to respond to the Junto activity.

Last night, when I read the Disquiet post, I started reworking a popular Queen song and then thought better of it.

In the bath this morning I had two ideas:

  • rewrite ‘Happy Birthday To You’
  • cut-up the national anthem

I ended up pursuing the latter.

In previous Juntos I’ve referenced the Cut-up technique and re-written the Australian national anthem, so it interested me to combine the two.

(Also, it provided a process I could represent in the video visually – although I’ve another idea to process ‘Happy Birthday’ that I might try over the weekend.)

My oldest sings in the choir at school, so I knew he’d provide the material.

My partner joked that I might get arrested for butchering the national anthem and it’s a contentious song for me anyway, since the second verse has been at odds with Australia’s offshore detention policies this century.

I think it was William S. Burroughs who thought the Cut-up technique revealed hidden meanings in text, and it seems to me the Australian national anthem has language which seems to infer the white Australia policies of earlier eras.

The result is unmusical and I tried singing the new arrangement to the existing melody, which improved it but seemed at odds with the Junto directions this week.


I’ve been lurking for a few weeks now, and this was the first prompt so far that I was able to think of something to do with: Stream Intermezzo ingarbugliato (disquiet0535) by 1womanfluteensemble | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

I took the ten-bar flute solo from the Act 3 Intermezzo from Carmen and reordered the measures (1 4 3 9 8 7 10 2 6 5, with 1 and 5 being identical and 2 and 6 also being identical).

In the original piece, the next thing that happens is that the same melody is repeated an octave down by the clarinet. I don’t play the clarinet, so I played it on alto flute instead. I took the countermelody from the original and rearranged the measures in the same order, transposing some notes up or down an octave so that it would flow better and get out of the way of the melody.

Then I figured it would make more sense with some kind of accompaniment, so I got the harp part (via Finale and Noteperformer) in there as well. I changed some of the harmonies on the first pass, to fit the rearranged order of measures. Once both flute parts were going, they filled out the original harmonies more, so the original harp part made more sense and didn’t need to be adjusted.

The title is a reference to “Intermezzo interrotto” from Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. (ingarbugliato = ‘tangled’ or ‘confused’; ingarbugliato - Wiktionary)

I recorded in Audacity with my Zoom H1 as input device. I didn’t get the timing exactly right with the click track and everything (I don’t do this kind of thing often), but I’m going away for the weekend tomorrow afternoon and leaving my instruments at home…


Hi all :slight_smile: This started with first thinking of a melody. I decided to find out about the intro music in a much loved video game cabinet from my youth ‘Phoenix’.

Turns out it’s ‘Romance de’Amour’ by an unknown composer. Try as I might I struggled to pick out the notes by ear. So I grabbed a midi clip which proved fruitless so I gave up…
I awoke in the night later and went to my keystep and the melody flowed out :slight_smile:

Next I jammed with what I learned in bespoke synth with switches on arpeggios and glitch sequences.
I didn’t deviate too much from the melody but it’s enough to make it sound different to my ears.
Today I added some wild modulated oscillator sounds from Lich to add more of a video game element to it. A section was reversed to play with the order a bit too
All was recorded live then mixed and edited in the DAW.
On drums is SR-88 from audio thing. A sample-based plugin emulation of the Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88, a rare analog drum machine from the 80s. This is passed through UA’s Fault vst.
Thanks Marc it’s been a great ride making this and making it different. Hope everyones well :slight_smile:


The playlist is now rolling:

1 Like

So, I’ve always had this dumb idea of having a song play the first few notes, then repeating them, playing the next few notes, repeating them and so on (with all the notes continuing to play til the end) - I did this once with Sinatra singing Fly Me to the Moon, and by the end it was a weird cacophony, but you could kind of hear all the bits. I’ve also had another dumb idea about every note in a song being played at once, which I see as “sideways music”. Anyways, for this project, I put all the notes for Amazing Grace into the Stochas sequencer, hooked that up to two pianos and then ran it all through loops.


The national anthem before the presidential elections next week… broken into pieces !

Best regards


The prompt seemed like something up my alley so decided to see if I could make it work in VCV Rack. I used the main theme from Elgar’s Cello Concerto as the starting melody and proceeded to mangle it real good.

I don’t know that the technical details are very helpful since it was very scuffed, but the highlights … Used Seq++ to load midi file and recorded into Simpliciter. Sliced and diced the recording and used Chances to randomly select individual slices. Ran the output through a filter and Supermassive. The result is a bit glitchy and disjointed and probably not worth the effort but it was a good learning exercise.


When in doubt, decide for Eric. These are the first 24 bars of Satie’s Gymnopedie #1, MIDI cut into bars, then repuzzled and then rearranged, mostly by ear.


Thought of many ways to do this. In the end I used the Korg SQ-1 sequencer. Fx from Zoom MS-70CDR


I started by searching for public domain music and when I encountered “Moonlight Sonata / Beethoven” in the hits, I thought to give a try since it’s well-known and I also like it a lot. Recording from scratch in a few days would not be possible for me so I used a MIDI file which did not come with any information whatsoever (from www.bitmidi.com).

I’ve been learning Supercollider these days so I first tried to read the MIDI file into SC and do interesting stuff with the pattern functions I have been learning. I only succeeded in shuffling the entire set of notes which was uninteresting.

I wish I had the live looping skills and equipment but not quite; I rarely work with loops. So, I switched to a DAW (Waveform 11) and begun chopping up the MIDI. I thought it could be more interesting if I chopped from different parts of the song, mostly 1 bar or close (half a bar, 1.5 bars, etc.) and shuffled them without hearing what is going on at first. I looped some of the chopped clips while leaving the rest mostly alone and ran these two sets (looped versus non-looped) into different instruments in UVI Mello. The only MIDI editing I did other than this was to transpose some of the notes of the looped clips just to mess things up a bit.

I was curious how it would sound with synths so I also took these two tracks to Bitwig 4 and ran them into different synths with some effects. I’m running Bitwig in demo mode so I can’t save or export, therefore I recorded the result into a walkman and recorded that back into the laptop. It sounded okay but the Mello sounds were too nice to give up, so I placed the synth version underneath the Mello tracks.

This could have been a lot more fun and interesting if I had better looping skills (or if I spent more time on it). But it helps to push myself and see what I need to learn.



I like this, makes me think of Basinski or what Eno did to Pachebel’s canon.

1 Like

L’invasor Una Mattina Bella.

Ostinato variation over a traditional italian Resistance song called Bella Ciao.

Made with NI Maschine+ and ASM Hydrasynth Explorer, thinking to the victims of all current wars.


I thought of Whiskey In The Jar, not Thin Lizzy’s best song, but everyone knows it.
Recorded in SAMPLR
Played the licks from the intro
Rerecorded in ableton
Have fun!
The name of my track is an anagram


With apologies to Miles Davis.

What if “Nardis” was written in the bass clef?

Same sheet music, different meaning.

Jigsaw Disjunction?

“Nardis” is one of my favorite melodies ever. I spent the weekend trying to resequence it thinking in terms of bars, notes, or phrases. In the end, none of it was satisfactory. But I really did try:

Jigsaw Disjunction!

I think if you squint hard enough, this still qualifies as “breaking the melody into pieces”. I just broke the sheet music symbols into pieces and thus rearranged the piece wholesale. Then I applied different chords to the melody, learned to play it on the piano, and added fretless bass and strings (all three from Yamaha CP300). Drums from Ableton Live.

To me, this sounds like a sketch by the Beatles.


from the introduction of the rite of spring, taken into ableton and quickly chopped up using Vector Grain instrument, where i jammed the patterns using keys. Some FX (Driftmaker and RX9)