Disquiet Junto Project 0557: Condensation Is a Form of Change

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, September 5, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 1, 2022.

Tracks are added to the SoundCloud playlist for the duration of the project. Additional (non-SoundCloud) tracks appear in the llllllll.co discussion thread.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0557: Condensation Is a Form of Change
The Assignment: Interpret a graphic score that depicts four phases.

A combined play on a Brian Eno phrase and a John Cage visual motif is pretty much foundational Disquiet Junto territory. This week, interpret this image as a graphic score:

And there’s a high resolution copy of the image, too.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0557” (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 “disquiet0557” (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 https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0557-condensation-is-a-form-of-change/

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, September 5, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 1, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0557” 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 557th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Condensation Is a Form of Change (The Assignment: Interpret a graphic score that depicts four phases) – at: https://disquiet.com/0557/

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-0557-condensation-is-a-form-of-change/.

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And the project is now live.

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i’m in! got a question, tho :person_raising_hand:

0557-640-px-560x420.png

:point_up_2: @disquiet (or anyone else who might know) apologies if this is an ignorant question, just want to make sure in case the number is significant in a way that can help me base more compositional decisions on it… the title for the lo-res .png includes the number ‘640’: what’s the significance of that number? (i thought i’d ask since everything else in the title makes immediate sense, but wasn’t sure about that one)
i did search for both “Brian Eno + 640” and “John Cage + 640” and found this thing:

and also this:

(but can’t say i understand the diagrams readily beyond… just maybe… Cage was using some form of math/decision-making to find a combination of 640 numbers that only lie between ‘1 and 16’ or ‘1 and 21’)

(separately, i saw there’s a 640p resolution i’d never heard of before specific to some webcams(?))

(or maybe it’s something to do with the I Ching? :point_left: :point_down:
“Now is the time to find it difficult to achieve anything you aim for” :open_mouth:
“You won’t be able to achieve your goals right now, but it’s time to look far into the future and prepare steadily from now on” :scream:
“The current situation is the same as designing a house before it is built. If you keep trying, you’ll definitely get a chance” :smiley:)

(…oh man, so nervous, what if the answer is obvious and i just can’t see it?(i’ll need to go to therapy, perhaps get an MRI, maybe even go back to school… but i can’t afford any of that right now :laughing:…) hoping this isn’t a shameful question :sweat_smile: apologies in advance if so :pray:)

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The number 640 is simply a practical artifact of the editorial process.

The project number this week is 0557. For disquiet.com posts, the default image width is 560 pixels. On the Tinyletter email newsletter content management system, the default width for an image is 640 pixels. Most pictures I edit for disquiet.com, including Junto-related ones, are set as 640 width so I can later use them easily on Tinyletter, and then I automatically downgrade them to 560 when I post them to disquiet.com. The disquiet.com CMS adds the downgraded width to the file name, which is why it appears as 0557-640-px-560x420.png.

Because I had two versions of this graphic score — both the original for high-resolution purposes, and the smaller one for posting online in the context of disquiet.com and the newsletter — I tagged the smaller one 640 so I could distinguish them.

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Thank You so much for clarifying (so glad it wasn’t something i missed about Cage or Eno specifically, was fun to trip off all the other possibilities too tho :smile: ).
Much Appreciated :heart:

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firstly i took the image associated with this project and edited it via the Image Glitch Tool on github (Image Glitch Tool)

I took this image and then found an online png to wav converter (as found here: Image to Audio, Spectrogram Player) which created a 20 second sound snippet.

I took this in ableton and repitched the parts and jammed it out on my pc keyboard.

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I made this over breakfast recording the empty porridge plate (with coconut milk and pecan nuts, highly recommended) other things close to hand.

At the centre of the recording, I drew each of the four section circles 17 times (disquiet 5+5+7=17) with the skin and nails of my hand. This part is effected with reverb.

On either side, with no effects, but panned to 55 left and right, I brought in the porridge dish, my massive Dr Who mug (William Hartnell to Matt Smith), the desk lamps, laptop, phone, speaker and a nifty philips screwdriver. I stopped the recording at 55 bars of a 120 tempo.

Handily, I’d just completed the 17th circle playing the fourth pattern of the graphic score (which you can see in the image).

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i saw the picture, saw the movement in the prints
jammed with my op-1
4 footprints, 4 buttons, recorded in TX-6

probably 4 musical parts

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For me the image suggest stains on a table cloth, sweaty wine glasses and bottles…
I started recording a beautiful plastic bottle I had around, then added some simple drums (I can’t drum more that 2 things at once, so here it’s bass drum and hi hat)
The added some wine glasses (rubbed) and chamber crystal bowls (hit w/mallets) , some of my favourite samples.
The bass it’s a freebie I recently found and wanted to test, just plain 808 bass sound in one octave. very nice (808 BM4 Lite)

Created by dd in Paris during the morning of Friday September 2nd 2022.

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And the playlist is rolling:

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I didn’t want to understand the picture as a kind of timeline to be read from left to right. From the beginning I felt the urge for simultaneity, as it is inherent in images. I saw four or five elements, of which the lower/left one is incomprehensible, condensing on a background and perhaps disappearing again like stains from a coffee cup.

With that in mind, I started playing around in Live, mostly with samplers like DecentSampler, Soundpaint, and Spitfire Labs, and a lot of destructive FX. I wanted to achieve the mysteriousness that I felt myself when I looked at the image. The only discernible motif kind of emerged as I played around, it was actually too clear to me, but then I didn’t want to go without it.

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Hi all. A three voice patch with Monome Ansible running Earthsea. I recorded patterns by describing the shapes in the image with Grid. These patterns run in the order in the title. This was fed into bespoke synth for reverb. Voices are Braids, Radioactive VCO into ladder filter and Equinox VCO into Ripples. Simple percussion from Addac 104.

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how to describe… :thinking: …using max/msp for everything here… i tried to setup a scanline going down the pic, each row of 2048 pixels was parsed out to red, green, and blue values which were then summed and averaged(if the average fell below 0.557, the value was left positive, otherwise, it was turned negative), and then these values used to fill a wavetable for an oscillator(the cycle~ object)…
additionally the red values of each pixel in the row of 2048 were used as multipliers for 2048 FFT bins(keeping in mind that in Max’s pfft~ object, you need an FFT size of 4096 in order to get 2048 bins relevant to the human hearing range as it defaults to ‘half-spectrum’ for efficiency and low-latency)…

THEN I GOT BELLIGERENT! :crazy_face: said to myself, “these are such arbitrarily defined mappings of values, and so biased by what type of sounds and rhythms i’d like to hear, i might as well just map color values and add sounds and randomness however i like”… so i added beats, decided to use the number “0557” for so many weird-things(<-technical term) everywhere, and just kept sculpting things around whatever i could map from the color values of the pic and the number “0557”, with arbitrarily applied decision-making everywhere til i got a palette of sounds i liked.
finally, while recording the patch out to file, decided to perform it a little, allowed the scanline to pass through almost four iterations of the entire pic(trying to get 4 phases), but while doing so, deleted a bunch of patch chords to suspend certain sounds and let processes go wild on their own and keep it interesting, while trying to remain focused on how the pic made me feel as i thought about the circular marks over the wood grain one-by-one.

here’s the patch in a .zip(there’s a pfft~ subpatch, plus the hi-res pic named specifically the way this patch needs in order to auto-load it when opened), so you can have the full folder with everything required ready to go:
disquiet0557.zip (7.8 MB)


:tea:

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The circular motion of the sweating glass on the bar. The dance of trash high in the sky. Dust to dust, you are the one.

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Hey All,
I took the image quite straight forwardly.


I put this on a piano at 20 bpm. I offset 3 versions of this at different octaves.
I wanted to get simulate the grey whatever is on the table with fx that I gradually added in.

I call these prompts 'ego destroyers"because it kinda eliminates my control over it but then again the process contains some ego. I guess there is no escape.
I will probably watch something now and it will probably have dragons in it.

Peace, Hugh

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I see a blurred, distant rhythm in the grain of the wood, covered by a random smattering of white noise. The mis-formed spherical clearings allow the real structure of the background to become apparent.

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hello.

this one was troublesome, but i’ll try and keep it (relatively) brief. my first thought on seeing the project description was to use a program i have called photosounder, which turns images into audio. i saved the large version of the image and put it into the program, i tweaked a few parameters but i’m not very experienced with that software so i wasn’t sure what would have a good effect. unfortunately i couldn’t get the result to sound particularly musical or indeed especially interesting, but i figured it could be used as a kind of ambient bed for the track with some processing.

the next stop was freesound, where i began looking for samples that fit with the image. the title mentioning ‘condensation’ seemed like a logical term to search, but unfortunately this primarily brought up sounds that were recorded with condenser microphones, which was not much use. i thought about the contents of the image: i could see wood, water, and the implication that glass had been there, so i searched these terms. as can be expected for such broad terms these brought up a lot of results, but i was nonetheless able to find some nice sounds.

after that was almost the downfall of me completing this project at all. i brought the sounds (photosounder’s output, and the samples i’d picked out) into acid, and proceeded to make an arrangement and add effects as i would normally do. however in the process of doing this, acid must have crashed about fifty times and eventually corrupted the project file so badly that doing anything at all would cause it to crash again.

i felt defeated, and although i still had the samples, i didn’t feel up to starting over again in a different (and hopefully less crashy) daw. i ended up doing other things with the rest of my day, and decided that maybe i’d give it another try over the weekend.

i slept well last night and had pleasant dreams, so i felt more inclined to work on the project today. i decided to try using bitwig studio this time, which is quickly becoming a new favourite. i set up the arrangement of samples in the same way as it was in acid, at least insofar as i could remember it. i set up a lot of plugins to process the samples.

first off was the output from photosounder which i used delays and grain effects to make into an almost-drone ambient bed for the track, as i’d intended.

the next was a long sample (which only plays once for the entire duration of the track, it’s not looped or repeated) described as “wooden striking wood, recorded inside a large wood-floored room” which i wanted to use as a percussive base for the track. i put this on two tracks, and panned one a little left and one a little right. on the “wet” track i used several grain and rhythmic effects to make it more interesting; on the “dry” track i used only a micro pitch shifter and a reverb. i had heard that doing this produced a good effect, though i may not have remembered the exact process correctly. even so, it sounded nice.

the next were two ‘singing’ glasses; i seem to remember using samples like that in a junto project quite some time ago. i used a mixture of distortion, rhythmic, grain and delay effects on these as i felt by themselves they were a little harsh and bold, and could dominate the sound too much. next was a pleasant sample of a stream, for this i used a grain effect and a movement effect to make it a little more rhythmic and ambient.

the last pair were a couple of samples of glass objects clanking, striking, being tapped, scraped, and hit. again these provided quite a rhythmic element and i used movement and grain effects to bring those aspects out.

last of all was the master, i started with dj swivel’s spread to add more stereo wideness, and added izotope’s ozone and neutron for general mastering purposes. after listening to the track a few times and fiddling with some settings, i decided to also add karanyi sounds’ poly space reverb to the master, on a relatively subtle setting, which felt like it brought things together quite nicely.

i thought more about the image and what i wanted to try and convey with my track. “of course” the image is just some marks left by glasses on a table, but could it be something else? there is a deliberateness to the arrangement of the marks which suggests trying to communicate something. i vaguely remember a film where aliens communicated with circular shapes, and the sounds i had made reminded me a little bit of those radio telescope recordings that were everywhere years ago. i realised that i had, largely unintentionally, put four different ‘elements’ in this piece, like the four circles in the image: the ambient bed, and the sounds of wood, water, and glass.

i decided not to finish up the track immediately, instead listening to it several more times and making small changes here and there. i think this resulted in making something i’m more satisfied with, even if it meant sacrificing some of the immediacy of my initial ideas.

i formulated a title playing with the ideas of change and messages. eventually i settled on ‘tidings of transfiguration’. it sounds faintly religious, but that was not the intent. as usual, for the image i fed the title i’d come up with and some modifiers into nightcafe, and quite liked what it came up with.

i’m glad i decided to give this another go despite having a major setback on my first attempt. i did output a mixdown from acid before it corrupted too much, but ended up deleting it and the broken project file; in any case that version was a lot more of a glitchy/IDM style thing that was somewhat abrasive, rather than what I’ve come up with here, which still has some element of that but is considerably more ambient.

i feel like participating in these projects has helped me (re)discover an enjoyment of ambient music, both listening to it and creating it. though sometimes i can go from listening (and making) the most calm kind of music to the far opposite end with extreme metal, noise, etc.

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A table by the sea and the condensation water of some bottles have left their mark. I like that.

I interpreted the score as follows:

  1. first, I see grains of sand on a surface. The grains suggest - simply put - a granular treatment of a pad or surface.
  2. the circles reminded me of the loop representation of the loopy app. So I recorded four loops. Wherever two “grooves” were visible, I played two notes, otherwise, I used just one; the fatter a groove, the greater the amplitude. I used Bardzo, Pigments, and SQ80-V.
  3. I ignored the fifth circle discreetly because it didn’t fit into the piece anymore. Shame on me.

First, the “table” (drone) starts, then the bottles (loops) are introduced with one time each. Once all four have played twice, they are removed again, until the piece ends.

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