Disquiet Junto Project 0565: Musical Folly

This post is a placeholder until the project goes live. Instructions should have popped up at disquiet.com/0565 shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on October 27, but for whatever reason the automation didn’t work, so I pushed it manually around 7:15am, after I woke. The email containing those instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto later in the morning, 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, October 31, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, October 27, 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 0565: Musical Folly
The Assignment: Make a piece of music inspired by this architectural concept.

Step 1: Consider the concept of a folly in architecture. The Oxford English Dictionary has defined a folly as “A costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park.” Look at other definitions.

Step 2: Consider how the idea of a folly might be transposed, so to speak, to music.

Step 3: Make a piece of music inspired by the thoughts that arose in Step 2.

The cover image for this project is from DALL·E 2. The prompt: “architectural folly on British estate in disrepair, photograph.”

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0565” (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 “disquiet0565” (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-0565-musical-folly/

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, October 24, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0565” 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 565th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Musical Folly (The Assignment: Make a piece of music inspired by this architectural concept) – at: https://disquiet.com/0565/

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-0565-musical-folly/

The cover image for this project is from DALL·E 2. The prompt: “architectural folly on British estate in disrepair, photograph.”

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Whatever this assignment is, I love the name! :fire::turtle:

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Musical foliage.

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I think it’s upside down. :slight_smile:

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The project is now live.

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Short and sickly sweet, the response to this week’s Disquiet Junto (0565).

On sight of the prompt I was immediately drawn to a series of miniatures that I improvised and played around with using the editing on Audacity for when I did a residency during 2021’s lockdown at Round Chapel in Hackney, London, UK (Mixcloud).

With the 8th miniature, it has always reminded me of a being seasick on a fairground round that’s slowing down. As a double folly I thought I’d try and ‘tidy up’ the background hiss, but using my DIY production skills have also introduced that distinctive noise of compression, like a radio played in the background. So in keeping with the prompt, I’ve kept that in.

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I was taken here by researching the interesting prompt from @disquiet
I used the Norns script schicksalslied, a poetry sequencer to create sounds from words I found describing the property that was Richard Preston’s house in 1679. 16n fader bank was mapped to params in the script to control the sounds.

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A costly ornamental building piece of music with no practical purpose

So basically anything I’ve ever written with my modular? :smiley:

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And the playlist is rolling.

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I always thought that “jolly” came from the French word “Jolie” and I recently learned that it doesn’t really.
So I assumed that “Folly” comes from the French term “Folie” , again it doesn’t.

So @disquiet your emails are sometimes very instructive, thanks for that.

So Jolly, ornamental … with no practical purpose right? Yes, that my music. Easy challenge this week I could share anything I do.

But I had time this morning and spent a few hours developing this, I’m still infatuated with the sound of my upright piano with different microphones and some reverb (and some hand muting…)
Overdubbed vibraphone, and the rest is synthesizers.

the cover photo is mine (a ceiling in an old apartment in Buenos Aires.

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String quartet created with 4 x 3 track euclidean sequencers each driving a step sequencer triggering VSL solo strings through an instance of Replica XT and all fed through the fantastic Atlantic Dual Chambers Reverb from Softube.

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The whole piece has been centered around a “folly” constructed with arpeggios on toned percussion, appearing in the middle of the piece. I started building this - using the ever-great Chordimist maxforlive plugin - and then started adding and building around it… to try to “prop it up” somehow. I’m not sure I succeeded - but it was great fun trying…

Appearing in the piece - which is made completely “in-the-box”, are EarthMoment, Arturia, Spitfire and U-HE VST’s of different sorts.

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Hey All,
@DeDe beat me to the punch on all my own music being folly. But as Billy Blake once said
“A fool who persists in his folly will become wise.”
The image for this prompt made me think of an old Ink Spots song. I used the midi from that slowed way down and used only the Emulator soft synth for sounds. I thought that synth would be appropriate for the theme. Hope all are well.

Peace, Hugh

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hello.

i liked the concept of this project but initially i didn’t have a clear idea of what to do for it. i ended up checking wikipedia, and the list of characteristics of follies was quite helpful. a few parts stuck in my mind: no purpose other than an ornament, eccentric in design or construction, and with an element of fakery.

with these ideas in mind i thought it might work to make something with some traits of a classical piece (as apparently a number of follies were made in the style of classical greek or roman architecture) but which was also very clearly not actually classical in origin.

i initially was going to incorporate snippets of classical pieces with my own twist into a broader medley. however, i did a search for ‘baroque midi’ to see if i could find a good starting point, and came across this ancient site which had numerous midi versions of pachelbel’s canon in d major, a piece which has become rather clichéd by its overuse; among the versions on the site, bizarrely, were both a disco and a carribean rendition, which amused me greatly so i decided i would use one or both of these as the basis for my entry.

i brought the midi into bitwig studio and tried to figure out what sort of sounds would fit each track. i ended up making it a bit weirder than originally intended, but i feel like that fits with the spirit of the prompt and adds interest to a composition that’s been rather worn by repetition.

for the main melody i used ds thorn with a patch that sounds (to me) somewhat like a guitar; on two bass(?) parts i used waves’ bass fingers and the bleass alpha synth respectively, putting the former through guitar rig 6 and the latter through a compressor and eventide’s physion mkii (the first tendency towards glitch/idm in this piece). a track with only chords got played by arturia’s analog lab v with uvi’s dual delay x as the effect, then three tracks of held notes met with two instances of arturia’s synclavier v (an excellent recreation) and one of bleass alpha. these met with various effects and added to the glitchy/idm aspects of the track.

i added the usual kinds of plugins to the master in order to widen the stereo field and polish up the sound a bit. i also included audiothing’s reels to add just a touch of vintage character to the piece.

for the title i simply combined the name of this week’s project with the name of the original composition. the artwork was created by putting the title and various other terms into nightcafe studio, then i used ai upscaling in photoshop and lightroom to make it a larger image without losing too much detail. i feel like the resulting artwork is rather fitting.

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Here intentionality is rhythmic density, intonation and symphonia, whereas contrasting nature is inharmonicity and arhythmic oscillations. A folly theme emerges and grows out of inharmonic plasticities.

Made with NI Maschine+.

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The word “folly” is an English term to mean foolish or lacking good sense. In French, the word “folie” emphasizes aesthetic beauty over practicality to the point of being extravagant, whimsical or silly. This is an egregiously unfair way to denigrate the need to enliven our surroundings with objects and structures that enhance one’s life experience.

“Humankind needs structures and tools that are enriched beyond the severely utilitarian,” wrote Victor Papanek in his timeless book Design for the Real World. “Delight, balance, and that pleasing harmony of proportions that we project outward into the world are psychological necessities for us.”

For this piece, Suss Müsik took inspiration from the contemplative “stone face ruins” of Chanticleer’s public gardens. The “ruins” are not ruins at all, but rather a hardscape of three ornamental ‘rooms’ evoking a sense of mystery. One room in particular warrants mention: from the bubbling, deep black depths of a 24-foot reflecting pool surrounded by lush succulents, polished marble faces gaze upward in repose.

Suss Müsik created a soundscape using custom devices built from the “ruins” of old computer hardware. Two contact mic-inputs are passed through a Meng Qi Wingie2, which was controlled by a handmade MIDI input. One channel was refactored as an arp sequence; the other provided a vaporous coloring agent when passed through heavy reverb. A fourth device controlled three synth voices with grain modulation playing the same arp sequence. Here’s a video of the performance: Papanek [Disquiet0565] - YouTube

The piece is titled Papanek and was recorded live in October 2022. The image is taken from a summer 2022 trip to Chanticleer.

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In my more cynical moments I wonder if all of my musical activities are folly.

It sometimes feels as though I collect a lot of instruments and gear, then do little with them.

So I took the prompt this week as an opportunity to use my most recent purchases, the Zoia Empress pedal and the Organelle – since I hadn’t tried the latter as an effect.

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Read an article about tuning and barbershop quartets singing chords. Using the new tuning device in Ableton together with several variations of “strings”, I set up one chord with two strictly different melodies that only come together after 2 minutes or so. For extra folly and the elements of fakery, I had the strings consist of actual orchestra mixed with synths.

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On a eurorack modular system, polyphony is sheer folly - costly, ornamental, with little practical purpose.

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