Disquiet Junto Project 0568: Slumber Mill

Instructions for this project popped up at disquiet.com/0568 (thank you, powers of automation!) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on November 17. (I was asleep at the time, which is appropriate for this project.) The email containing those instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto after I woke up, and then I posted them here, on the Junto Slack, and my Mastodon account, and Instagram, etc. And if you’re on Mastodon, please use the #DisquietJunto tag. Much appreciated. And thanks to @Glitcher for proposing this week’s project.

Disquiet Junto Project 0568: Slumber Mill
The Assignment: Make music inspired by a key chord from sleep research.

Step 1: We’re going to make music inspired by recent research on sleep habits. Read the article here:

https://www.sciencealert.com/nightmares-can-be-silenced-with-a-single-piano-chord-scientists-discover

Step 2: Think about the hallmarks of a nightmare.

Step 3: Spend some time with the C6/9 chord. The notes are C E G A D. (In other words: the root, major third, perfect fifth, major sixth, and major ninth.)

Step 4: Create a piece of music that begins with the hallmarks of a nightmare and then gradually transforms into a more positive piece through the use of piano chord C6/9.

Note: Feel free to use other chords or whatever but keep C6/9 primary in the transformation.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0568” (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 “disquiet0568” (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-0568-slumber-mill/

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, November 21, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, November 17, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you. Keep sleep in mind.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0568” 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 568th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Slumber Mill (The Assignment: Make music inspired by a key chord from sleep research) – at: https://disquiet.com/0568/

Thanks to Glitcher for proposing this project.

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-0568-slumber-mill/

The cover image for this project is from DALL·E 2, where “piano chord, sleep, vaporwave, green, pink” was the prompt.

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The project is now live. Thanks again, @Glitcher.

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Something dark morphs into something playful - gamboling lambs maybe

Created in Logic (as usual) aided and abetted by Make Noise/Soundhack Erbe-Verb, 2C Audio’s Kaleidoscope, FKFX Obvious Filter, Portal by Output, NI’s Replica XT and VSL’s Vienna Imperial.

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i’m super unfamiliar with using the piano roll in bitwig studio, so is there any possibility someone here could provide a midi file of the c6/9 chord? i can transpose/stretch/etc as necessary but i’m not wholly convinced i can input it accurately given the information in the prompt. i will try but i thought it couldn’t hurt to ask.

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You can see that I tried to use a bunch of things.

First I tried to program the chord into my Subharmonicon and then added a nightmarish quality with a drum machine circuit bent by Diabolical Devices, as well as my Atomosynth Mochika running through a bass synth pedal.

Then I attempted to play the chord on my Organelle through a variety of patches.

The title came from a weird dream I had last night, which involved trying to leave an unhappy musical therapy session and finding it was being held in a sprawling share house populated with hip younger people.

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Hello, I created this one today morning (Friday 18th Nov 2022) using a felt piano library sound and synthesisers along with a “falling” descending shepard tone for the bad dream’s part. (I have that as a recurring dream: me falling for ever)

There’s a “nightmare” chord (some sort of C minor “alt”) and then the “sweet dreams” chord (C6/9)
Around 1 minute into the piece the “sweet dreams” chords tries to get in but fails, to be eventually fully heard at the end, before the rallentando at 1:42 and back to a nice sleep.

photo by Greg Rosenke

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I modulated the pitch of every note from the chord in different directions before arriving at the final note…

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Hi all. :slight_smile: This started with some feedback patching using ‘Shakti’ and was then evolved in the DAW. The flute type sound near the begining sound is shakti module feedback thats been pitched down. Drums and perc from Moonkits and Atom vst. Chord sequences played with keystep through Unfiltered Audio’s Lion synth. The drums and rhythm were used to represent being chased by someone or thing in the dream state.

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I’m oh too familiar with nightmares, often wish for sweeter dreams. Glad to know more of the C69 chord then. I had great fun doing this with the Garageband Clavs, strings and Steinway. Apart from a couple of accidental notes I just just the notes of the chord, evoking the nightmare through pitch bend, flangers and phasers.

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I needed several tries to figure out where to play the C6/9 using a MIDI keyboard in Reason Studio and simply kept all versions mixed together.

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I hope you’ll enjoy it!
The result is probably influenced by my listening to DJ Shadow - Endtroducing the entire week before. :laughing:

This week I’m travelling and have just a laptop to compose.
I decided to focus on producing quickly, having as much fun as I can and trying to find a way to compose in a way that feels like improvising (in slow-motion).

I used a few Ableton tracks and limited myself to only pre-prepared loops, samples and sounds from sound packs I was not familiar with before. Then I added a single instrumental part of organ using a piano roll.

Additional limitations:

  • when choosing the next sound/sample to add, choose among the first 3 options I tried in the sound browser. Then choose one of the sounds, and truly commit to it: try my best to make it a part of the sound world I was building.
  • spend no more than 3 hours from start to finish

I really enjoyed these limitations - I worked fast and had lots of fun. It makes me re-visit my assumptions about how I think I like to work in the studio… Perhaps I should be more accepting of the sounds the way they are, rather than spending hours fine-tuning and tweaking (which is fun too, but it’s a different kind of fun).

Process
I started with the main, happy part - created the beat and some background sounds with a few audio loops, then added an organ part by gradually building out the chord by adding note by note to the root.
Then I recorded the nightmare part with some tritone intervals - I kept it short as I didn’t feel like keeping the listener too much there.

I decided to keep the same beat in both parts to let the listener recontextualize the same sonic material as they move from the initial tension to the happy part. I found this process rather therapeutic.

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For my submission this week I recorded Lyra-8 with a drone tuned to the C6/9 chord run through filter, delays and shimmer reverb. I started with the oscillators on the Lyra-8 modulating each other so the notes they were tuned to weren’t clear and put lots of feedback on the delay. I let things get real noisy and then brought everything down until the C6/9 drone was identifiable. I then took the recording and layered it at a few different speeds.

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Hey All,
I for one like nightmares as they add some excitement to life,
I dig the prompt this week as it does 2 things. It gives a really open ended idea and it has a musical requirement that was simple enough for me to actually perform.
For the nightmare I went freesound to get some spooky sounds. When I got there the random sound of the day was floor squeaks and I thought that would be very nightmarish.
I did 2 versions one on piano and the on on synths so it like going in and out of a dream and how they change.
Hope all are well.

Peace, Hugh

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Bit of a quick and dirty effort this week, was gonna skip to work on other stuff, but the theme was just too intriguing. For me, nightmares are about disturbance and the uncanny rather than jump scares or monsters, so went for that as my nightmare section to segue into the piano chords.

https://tanukitunes.com/library/tracks/107173

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Dissonant notes converge into the C6/9 chord, the timbre softens, the pace slows, and what was hellish becomes soothing.

I had a concept in my head that I wanted a load of dissonant sounds to resolve gradually and almost imperceptibly into a relaxing sound over a few minutes, and that that was something that needed automation, so I fired up Sonic Pi. And that didn’t work any more, so I recompiled it, and after reading a few GitHub issues I finally got that to work, and then I was able to try and implement it!

Here’s the source code. It plays random notes from the chord at various octaves for approximately three minutes. At first, the notes are randomly shifted by up to three semitones, making them wildly dissonant. Over a minute, that shift is scaled down to zero. Over slightly longer periods, the cutoff frequency is gradually reduced, and the interval between notes increased.

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This was a fun one for me . This was my first attempt at using funkwhale as the repository (thank you @beto) :
Facing within

I start with some notes dissonant to the C6/9. About 10 seconds in I begin a 6hz binaural beat (55hz left; 49hz right). Some neuroscientists think that a 6hz binaural beat enhances meditative states (Brain Responses to a 6-Hz Binaural Beat: Effects on General Theta Rhythm and Frontal Midline Theta Activity). I used these frequencies because they are in the C6/9 chord (49hz=G1; 55hz=A1) and make a 6hz beat frequency. The idea is that we always have the capability within to face inner and outer turmoil and we can use our nightmares to become more skillful. I uploaded this to SoundCloud as well bc I wasn’t sure it would get picked up by the list :

KarmicResonance · Facing Within [disquiet0568]

And apparently I have forgotton how to embed iframes here…

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excellent piece. i love the overall transition from dissonant to consonant. nice restraint with the effects too. plus you followed the instructions better than I:)

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I recorded four different piano improvisations, and then thought, why not layer them for even more nightmares?

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