Disquiet Junto Project 0558: Chore Progressions

Instructions popped up at disquiet.com/0558 (thanks, powers of automation!) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on September 8, and then at twitter.com/disquiet a little further along. (I was 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.

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 12, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 8, 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 0558: Chore Progressions
The Assignment: Use a routine activity as the map of a composition.

Step 1: Think of a routine chore that you do frequently.

Step 2: Think through the process of the chore, and break it down into a handful or so of phases.

Step 3: Reenact the chore, and record a representative bit of audio at each of the phases determined in Step 2.

Step 4: Produce a musical composition that occurs in a sequence of phases, following the sequence determined in Step 2. During each phase of the composition, employ sound recorded during the corresponding phase of the chore.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0558” (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 “disquiet0558” (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-0558-chore-progressions/

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 12, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you. Using the length of the chore may or may not make sense when determining the length of your piece.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0558” 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 558th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Chore Progressions (The Assignment: Use a routine activity as the map of a composition) – at: https://disquiet.com/0558/

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-0558-chore-progressions/

3 Likes

And the project is now live.

1 Like

fortunately there is little routine in my life
I thought about it, then I actually only think about vacuuming
Phase 1: Find the device and pull it out of the corner
Phase 2: Unroll the power cable from the device
Phase 3: Plug the power cord into the outlet
Stage 4: vacuuming
Phase 5: Switch off and roll up the cable

Recorded with SAMPLR into TE TX-6
That’s where the little tones come from

5 Likes

Hey All,
The nearest chore I could think of was cleaning the toilet. I recorded on my phone and sent to my mac. The sounds in order of appearance.

  1. Squeezing the bottle. I knew this would sound good but I pitched it way down.
  2. Brushing the bowl.
  3. Banging the brush.
  4. Flushing the toilet.
    I kept the loops going and it sounded kind of jazzy so I scatted (pun intended) a love song to my toilet.
    Hope all are well.

Peace, Hugh

4 Likes

For this Disquiet Junto prompt, I chose a fully automated chore, the washing machine. I find the sound of the washing machine comforting. The phases of its cycle are an endless mystery to me, so I recorded a series of different sounds from the pattern on a Sony dictaphone. Then I layered these parts of each cycle on Audacity and built a piece around different pitches and rhythms, and adding reverb. There’s a bubble wrap solo at 7 minutes in just for the hell of it.

4 Likes

Activities/events included

  • Alarm clock
  • Getting out of bed
  • Taking pill out of bottle
  • Exaggerated pill swallow
  • Pill bottle shake
  • Stomping down the stairs
  • Opening and closing the fridge
  • Loudly placing breakfast items on the table
  • Pouring and gulping milk
  • Microwave
  • Dish washing
  • Teeth brushing
  • Door closing
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The playlist is now live:

4 Likes

I chose the most important chore of the day, brewing up my eye opener. I recorded me filling the coffe machine, brewing and frothing the milk. I ran snippets through loopers and fx to create some clicky rhythms and a washy background. When the pump kicks in it sounded like someone mashing a bass chord on a church organ which was a pleasant surprise. I was going to use this background bed as a frame for some musical accompaniment but I kinda liked the sound of the manipulated samples as is.

4 Likes

First tentative track with Polyend Tracker: using samples is so far from my comfort zone! Thank you for this opportunity. As a routine chore I took the daily bicycle ride I make from home (here’s a nerdy recording of it Relive 'Viote Standard' ). Off topic: during one of these rides last week I met a wolf! Such a beautiful animal…

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This is the making of my morning coffee in the barista style. It is designed around a recording of me doing just that.

Gathering the tools
Grinding the beans
Tamping
The coffee machine heating up
The delivery of the water
Emptying the ground
Filling the milk jug
Steaming the milk
Pouring the milk
Cleaning the steamer

The track progresses in realtime (with the clean master recording the background) over which is a multi-processed version mainly mangled using MetaSynth CTX (Ringmod, Harmonizer and Grains) plus the addition of 4 rhythmic loops made (also in MetaSynth) by chopping the entire track into chunks and shuffling them. Also used on the processed track was 2C-Audio’s Kaleidoscope.

2 Likes

When I was a kid I used to hate it when my parents forced me to do the dishes. To me it was the most boring thing ever. The moment I was able to, years later, I bought a dishwasher. But that thing doesn’t load or unload itself, of course. In the grand scheme of things, it is a small chore, but one that I do with an odd sense of pleasure, as it confirms that I can make my own choices, however small.

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This track was made purely with field recordings while mowing the lawn. I mowed the lawn and recorded it with a Zoom H4n Pro. I took the recordings and loaded them into Reaper. I then assembled the samples into this track.

I didn’t pitch or pan any of these sounds, but I did stretch and squish a couple of them for timing purposes (while preserving pitch).

I’ve not touched a DAW in a long time! This was all DAW, samples only, no effects, instruments, or processing whatsoever apart from a bit of compression.

Phases:
Charge and load battery
Open garage door and roll out
Mow lawn
Finish with the whipper snipper
Roll back into the garage and close door

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Walks are a mental health routine for me these days. A way to chase gremlins. But that’s an awful lot of pressure for a simple walk, and doesn’t entirely work: I’m a Short Afternoon Walk and You’re Putting Way Too Much Pressure on Me - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

I took my sound recorder on a mini 4 minute walk reconstruction. I walk out of the apartment and down 4 flights of stairs. I walk on the street. I walk back in and up 4 flights of stairs. The gremlins audio involves a few tracks of audio-reactive chaotic vcv patches, and way too much of unfiltered audio SpecOPS. The real time recording of the 4 minute walk is playing the whole time.

Felt challenging and uncomfortable to build something around a field recording and a routine activity. Thank you for the encouragement to try something out of my comfort zone.

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So my chore of choice was hoovering. I recorded me hoovering my youngest son’s room. You hear the start as I set up, the hoovering, then a bit where I had to stop to move stuff, and then I complete the task. The music that goes with it is meant to create the meditative feeling of doing the chore. It involves a LABS piano and Dexed hooked up to Stochas, and two more LABS pianos playing a little theme.

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Phase 1: Preparing the rice takes 40 minutes
I begin with opening the rice cooker.
Measure two cups of rice and pour it into an aluminum bowl.
I wash the rice.
Drain the dirty water into the sink.
Fill the bowl with fresh water to the appropriate level.
Load the bowl into the cooker and begin the “Quick” program.

Phase 2: Preparing the vegetables
I peal a sweet potato.
I clean all the vegetables.
Put them onto a cutting board.
I begin cutting a thick aubergine.
I cut the rest. Book-ending the phase with two cloves of garlic.

The rice is now at maximum boil.

I drop the vegetables onto a preheated pan.
I stir-fry them in some peanut oil.
I stir through the heat arc.
I add drops of Yakisoba sauce towards the end.
I turn of the heat and let it simmer as the rice finishes up.
I enjoy the wet suction sounds of the marinated vegetables. As the heat tapers off, the sounds get louder and take on a warmer character.

Phase 3: Preparing the meal in a bowl
I open the cooker and listen to the glistening rice.
I air it, releasing any trapped moisture with a spatula.
I take portions into a large rice bowl.
I pour the stir-fried vegetables on top of the rice.
I place the pan down.
I enjoy my dinner.

Either you’ll enjoy the listening journey or you’ll get bored quickly. I edited and compressed it down to about 4 minutes. The editing was based on the rhythms of the content, establishing a natural flow and context.
I recorded the entire cooking process and changed the mic setup through-out, focusing on a given aspect of the phases. I close-miced to emphasize aural details that I enjoy. I e.g. like chopping vegetables and I spared everyone the long version since I had a lot of ingredients :slight_smile:

I added a discrete Raum reverb as I wanted the phases to sound like a performance. This together with the close-micing provide the actions a hyper-real quality similar to a Foley track in a film.

2 Likes

hello.

i wasn’t initially going to do this project for a few reasons: first, i don’t have an easy way to record audio away from my computer setup, second, i don’t really do a tremendous amount of chores, and third, i didn’t have a single idea that i thought could work.

however a couple of days later, it occured to me that i did have a chore to do: i needed to fill out a form for disability benefit. i also realised that although, say, a zoom h2n would be nice, it’d probably be overkill for most of my uses and it’s also a ~£150 bit of gear. so i just bought a fairly inexpensive mic for my smartphone instead, and figured i could use that as an ad hoc audio recorder - seeing as i often process the sounds quite extensively anyway, it probably doesn’t matter too much to have them in super quality.

anyway, the time came around to do the form (which would have been a lot more difficult without my bf’s assistance) and i completely forgot that i was supposed to be recording parts of the process for this project. he’s taken the form away with him to send off, so it’s not like i could easily try and reproduce what i would have recorded.

i decided to check out freesound to see if i could find good substitutes. i eventually settled on just half a dozen sounds, which roughly corresponded to the phases i’d determined for the task. two were computer sounds, one a general ambient/hum that i thought could serve as a soundbed and one a mouse clicking to represent checking scans of old documents to make sure things were consistent. two were paper shuffling sounds, because the government here is being very slow to move things online, meaning that i had to fill out a paper form. the last two sounds were of a pen writing on paper, which was the lion’s share of the task. i had also wanted to include some conversation sounds to represent that i discussed each question with my bf before we wrote anything down, but i couldn’t find anything that was ambient/indistinct enough to not be jarring, and by the time i started working on the track, he had already left, so i couldn’t record our own voices.

i loaded up bitwig and made a fairly simple arrangement of the sounds. the most tricky step was applying effects. i wanted it to sound at least somewhat musical and interesting rather than just being, essentially, foley, but at the same time i didn’t want the sounds to be wholly unrecognisable. i wanted the sounds to be somewhat glitchy to represent the stress this form caused, but also because i greatly enjoy those kinds of sounds and like to use them a lot. eventually i ended up making two tracks for each sound, with one version more processed and one less.

i felt the composition was a bit thin and lifeless, and i had wanted to create quite a rich ambient piece ideally. i reviewed the instructions and realised i had misunderstood: you must employ sounds from the chore, but they need not be the ONLY sounds. as such i began adding various loops to make the piece more interesting, from an ambient sample pack i wasn’t using for anything else. these again received various effects; while this has made the overall piece sound fuller i think it’s also detracted somewhat from the sounds of the chore, and i couldn’t seem to find a way to balance them (i spent a while trying). after a few listens i realised that the track had too high a tempo (especially as the actual task itself had taken seemingly an age) so i slowed it by 1/3.

i had already come up with a title earlier in the process: ‘form and burden’. ‘form’ obviously because i was filling out a form, but of course the word has other meanings as well. ‘burden’ came up as a synonym for ‘chore’, and it certainly feels like a burden having to fill out these forms on the regular.

in the end it didn’t come out how i really expected, and i’m not convinced i followed the instructions properly, but i think it turned out quite nicely despite all that.

5 Likes

Mowing my lawn.

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I enjoy gardening and working outdoors in the yard, so watering plants is a common routine. This was recorded in or around an outdoor shed we have for growing succulents and native California plants. After I captured the parts of the routine, we had a rare summer rain shower. I’m sure all the flora and fauna around here enjoyed the brief respite from the drought.

Field recordings were done using a Tascam DR-100mk3. These were edited in Sound Studio and processed in Ableton Live. Ambient drone was created using Max for Live Tree Tone and Slink devices. Effects used were Valhalla DSP reverbs and Cableguys ShaperBox 2. Final length ended up being 9 mins. 54 secs. – much longer than I had planned. Below are the phases incorporated in the composition.

  1. Filling various watering cans in the kitchen and plant shed
  2. Watering potted plants inside the house and shed
  3. Misting indoor plants
  4. Watering potted plants outside the shed
  5. Hand watering outdoor plants with a hose
  6. Brief summer rain shower
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@he_nu_ri This was nice.

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