Disquiet Junto Project 0539: Control Breath

Instructions for this weekly project popped up at disquiet.com/0539 (thank you, powers of automation) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on April 28, and then at twitter.com/disquiet a little further along. (I was deep asleep at the time.) The email containing those instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto later in the morning (after I woke up), and then I posted them here.

Disquiet Junto Project 0539: Control Breath
The Assignment: Let your slow breathing guide a piece of music.

Step 1: You’re going to record a piece of music in which not just the pace but the shape of your breathing will provide the foundation. Plan to do so with slow breathing.

Step 2: Spend some time just breathing, and paying attention to the breath. Locate a pace that is comfortable to you

Step 3: Best you can, record yourself breathing. It might take time to get the sound right. Record at least a few minutes.

Step 4: Listen back to the breathing you recorded in Step 3.

Step 5: Make a piece of music using the recording from Step 3. Retain the recording in your new piece of music. The sound of you breathing doesn’t need to be prominent, but it should both provide the shape and pace of your work, and at least occasionally be audible.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0539” (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 “disquiet0539” (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-0539-control-breath/

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, May 2, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you. Slow often works best when it’s slow and long.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0539” 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 539th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Control Breath (The Assignment: Let your slow breathing guide a piece of music) – at: https://disquiet.com/0539/

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-0539-control-breath/


The project is now live.

I once said I’d buy an album of Dylan breathing heavily. I still would. But not an album of Dylan breathing softly.

Greil Marcus in his review of Self Portrait (1970) in Rolling Stone

I actually like that album.


Ha! Thanks for that.

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Gimme Some Wrist (disquiet0539) by Melania Beta

My wrist was hurting as a result of poor sleeping position choices - hence the title. Every sound here originated with either my breath or the wind and no wrists were harmed during the making of this musical number.

Recorded, mixed & mastered 28 Apr 2022 by Jim Lemanowicz at Blissville Electro-Magnetic Laboratories of Massapequa.

©2022 Jim Lemanowicz

Process notes -
For this I used

  • four tracks of my breath, recorded mostly in bed or otherwise around the apartment and into an iPhone 12 Pro - all sorts of permutations - slow, moans, nostril whistles, quiet, walking past the fridge, opening a beer bottle
  • one track of some high 30 mph winds outside
  • all five tracks were slowed down at least by 10-50%
  • all five tracks were quantized into the C Pelog Tembung scale
  • all five tracks were converted/doubled to MIDI via Ableton Live
    • Propellerhead Reason Cello
    • Propellerhead Reason Viola
    • NI Kontakt Kinetic Metal
    • NI Kontakt The Giant (piano)
    • an Ableton jazz drum kit, which also included some random velocity
  • I subsequently converted/doubled the drum track to an Ableton Collison patch named “Detuned Lark” for the bass, this included some note randomization
  • I then used some volume or effect automation to let each of the ten parts keep out of each other’s way, kinda
  • in the end, I mastered via Ozone Elements a few times and chose the second master as the most dynamic


Oh cool. I’m from Huntington.

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I LOVE Huntington. I’ve often flirted with moving there.

Some of my favorite places

  • The Cinema Arts Center (aka “New Community Cinema”)
  • the Conklin Barn (played improv there about five times circa 1999-2001)
  • Faz’s Tex Mex Grill (aka “Tortilla Grill” when it was on 110)
  • IMAC (saw Sun Ra and Billy Bang there with some tickets obtained from WUSB Stony Brook)
  • The Heckscher Museum of Art and the Park - (Coltrane Festival)
  • Sweet Hollow Road & Mt Misery

Those are great spots. I pretty much grew up at the New Community Cinema. If you read comics, then Escape Pod on Main Street is an excellent store — not just a good one, but an excellent one. For food, I love Parea Restaurant Snack Bar for Greek and Ravagh for Persian. And I’ve eaten so much Diraimo over the years, it’s probably part of my DNA. My parents still live there, so I get back when I can.

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Persian! Wow, I have to get back up there again. I am not much of a comics guy but there was a cool little internet cafe slash CD store right near IMAC that had some wonderful stuff in the 90s or so.

Hey, but all that aside, I love the Junto. I have been following it for a few years but only this year did I decide to join in. This is a great little community. Thanks!

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Since the Junto started being published before my bedtime on Thursday, there’s been Disquiet in my dreams.

This week the assignment is to “Let your slow breathing guide a piece of music” and my process involved a tale worthy of Dickens.

The result was I recorded my partner, since I knew I’d enjoy listening to her happy breaths; and mostly used the gear I had set-up yesterday.


Hi all,
Hope you well.
Great concept.
I have been connecting the Grandmother to the Minibrute and running the DFAM all at the same time and this is one of those so it’s pretty much live and then I edit out the odd bit of weirdness.
I enhanced the breathing as it was sounding like a slasher movie and added some candy from Forester.
Trying to not over think it.


The red lentil soup at that place especially tasty. And glad you’re digging the Junto.

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Being lazy, I wanted the breathing itself to do the music. So I used plugins on my breathing, that use the source audio more or less as something to resonate on.

At the end it’s mainly AAS Object Delay and Micheal Norris Spectral Filterbank / Blurring / Bin Shift / Grain Streamer / Harmonizer plus filters, panners, reverbs in Reaper.



The playlist is rolling:

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Thank you for the nice prompt, Marc.

My apartment gets incessant traffic noise and I feel like it’s taking a toll on me. I struggled to block the noise by hiding a portable recorder inside a wardrobe but still ended up with a lot of noise (and somehow got very low signal-to-noise ratio, but it’s the first time I used a new recorder and maybe I need more practice with it). I am also traveling for a few days tomorrow so I had to live with this and the thought was to sidechain it to a pulsing bass to stop the noise and hiss from getting annoying. I used a couple Soundhack plugins on this.

I set the project to 60 bpm because I was fuming the day I started this and that’s where I wanted my heart rate to settle instead of wherever it was. I did not use the rate of my breathing in any way in the project–though I tried unsuccessfully to use Waveform’s Groove Doctor to create a tempo map that matched the recording (the failure is probably also due to the low s2n ratio). As for the “shape” of my breath I wanted to retain that fuming quality and you can still make out the aggressive breathing out of my nose.

For the rest, I adopted a less analytic mindset and let my intuition carry me forward. For the third junto in a row, I used the music pattern generator but this time for melody instead of rhythm. I ran the lower notes of the results into a bass patch from Pendulate (by Newfangled Audio) and the higher notes into a patch I made with SurgeXT with some automated delay.


For the Control Breath project, I recorded breaths holding the mics close to give that breathing-into-a-comm-unit-in-an-enclosed-helmet sound. It always sounds very close and isolated. Accordingly, I composed sounds around it including woodwind and bellows sounds to keep with the “breath focus”. I had the radio on in the background for added helmet noise which I reversed to remove distracting language information. Thanks Marc!


There’s a simmering quality here, that’s not foreboding.

Maybe that’s the piano?

I like the way the rhythm feels like someone might be building a bomb in the garage.

That and how the production all kinda sits in the shade, since my tendency is to put a lot of compression on percussion to make it punch into the light.

Good to hear a different approach, thanks.


I rested a recorder on my chest and recorded a minute or so of breathing with a few stomach gurgles for good measure. I then recorded several passes of this recording through reverbs, delays, a soft simulation of Rings and faded the original in and out of the resulting drone. If you listen carefully you’ll hear my borborygmus


So after years of staying safe, covid got a hold on me and gave me a miserable time last few days. Not wishing to miss out on the Junto (which was in mind when it started) my fever broke yesterday. Today I recorded my virus riddled breathing, added some effects and placed a short field recording at the end for a happy finish.
Sincerely, thanks Marc for helping me get out of bed and do something :slight_smile: