Disquiet Junto Project 0571: Child's Play

This week’s project was proposed by @El90. This instructions popped up at disquiet.com/0571 (thanks, powers of automation) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on Thursday, December 8th. (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, on the Junto Slack, and my Mastodon account, and Instagram, etc. And if you’re on Mastodon, please use the #DisquietJunto tag. Much appreciated.

Disquiet Junto Project 0571: Child’s Play
The Assignment: Make music inspired by a nursery rhyme.

This week’s project was proposed by Junto participant El90.

Step 1: Listen to some nursery rhymes — and do sing along if you like.

Step 2: Think about the idea of nursery rhymes, the nature of their melodies, lyrical content, rhyme scheme, form, and any other aspects you find striking.

Step 3: Make a piece of music based on, or inspired by, a nursery rhyme.

Step 4: Upload your piece, making sure to explain in your description the name of the nursery rhyme (or rhymes) that it is based on and how the source material has informed your work. Please also provide a link to a recording of the nursery rhyme if one is readily available.

Step 5: Listen to and comment on your fellow contributors’ pieces.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0571” (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 “disquiet0571” (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-0571-childs-play/

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

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0571” 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 571st weekly Disquiet Junto project – Child’s Play (The Assignment: Make music inspired by a nursery rhyme) – at: https://disquiet.com/0571/

This week’s project was proposed by Junto participant El90.

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-0571-childs-play/

3 Likes

And the project is live. Thanks, folks.

Hi, this is a lullaby I improvised on my daughter’s bedside many years ago trying to get her sleep. I was jamming tenderly on my charango

As the little melody I’ve found started to get interesting I forgot about her and kept going with variations and repetitions over and over for a long time. That stubborn, repetitive and soft rambling got her deeply sleep long before I actually stopped playing. I went to my studio right on and recorded the basic track for this version. It was included in an album I released a while ago but never shared on SC so here it is. A true nursery rhyme.

  • Charango
  • Bombo legüero
  • Synth pad
  • Glockenspiel
  • Upright bass

All real instruments

15 Likes

This started out as something based on Oranges and Lemons but I think has morphed into something a little bit Scottish …

9 Likes

8 Likes

The playlist is now rolling:

1 Like

My mother-out-law composed a simple song to entertain my son and it came to mind for the Junto project this week.

9 Likes

I opted for “Fuchs Du hast die Gans gestohlen” (Fox you stole the goose), a German nursery rhyme from around 1824 based on an older folksong. It was written by Ernst Anschütz, whom you may know via “O Tannenbaum”.

Because I’m in love with some presets (yes) in Pigments (check: Playhugger Microns), which use wavetables based on the MicroQ I once had (and sold when I was out of money), I currently do everything with these pads, and the results may be doubted. Anyway, I went for a slow ambient pads arrangement of this song, using only the original melody material plus some probabilities. At the end it did not sound like a lullaby at all (and does not say anything about nursery rhymes), but I liked it very much for what it is. At one point I added some sweet bells and stuff, but I always went back to this somehow brutal and unkrakenkrafty version.

Here are the Notesheet and song text and some youtubes with different versions of the song: oversugared version 1, oversugared version 2, very modern version.

9 Likes

In this track I tried to create the idea of a distant memory as this is where nursery rhymes began for me.
Back in time ‘once I caught a fish alive’ was my favourite. So first I had to pick out the tune from memory on the keystep. Once this was done I created a dreamy abstract background for it to appear in.
What’s weird is I used a Casio PT-82 vst for the melody but sent it through wires vst. It then occurred that an actual wire recording of the Casio PT-82 may of never happened. Since the PT-82 is from 1986 and wire recorders from late 1940s to the early 1950s. Is there a name for these unlikely combinations ?

9 Likes

This piece is inspired by Alouette, a French Canadian nursery rhyme about doing very bad things to a bird.

At first this assignment felt way out for me, and I had no idea what to do with it. I just don’t like doing song-y things. :stuck_out_tongue: I did a bit of digging and was reminded that nursery rhymes have a long history of being used in horror films. I then listened to a few nursery rhynes I remembered from my childhood. Alouette is about a dozen different ways to threaten to pluck a bird. Felt like a good theme to play with!

The sounds are all generative VCV things. Plaits vocal mode provides a lot of the … hum … thematic content. (Violence! Violence! Violence! Or is it violet?) Because nursery rhymes are extremely repetitive, I looped a lot of the samples many times.

9 Likes

Ok, obvious association, but I still went with it: children rhyming and horror films. It’s just too much fun. I did select a Japanese nursery song about falling leaves, though. To accompany the melody I created some simple chords, but added some dissonance, to make it creepier. So overall, the rhyme is repeated 4 times, every time slightly differently, getting more recognizeable, like an evil emerging, until at the end it dissolves into the night.

12 Likes

Hey All,
I went with the old Welsh nursery rhyme “Y Ffermwr, Y Clod a’r Llyffant” or in English “The Farmer, The Clod And The Toad”.
I thought about how nursery rhymes are often taught to teach music at the very bgining level because they are so simple and can be played with one hand, I also like that they are often sang in rounds so I made it one of those too.
I used the Mellotron plugin because it reminds me of listening to nursery rhymes on a cheap childrens record player.

Hope all are welll, Peace, Hugh

8 Likes

Wales has many wonderfully evocative and sometimes frankly bizarre nursery rhymes (Dogs losing their shoes, little saucepans…), but I went with one of the former: “Tŷ Bach Twt” (Little Tidy House") - in which our protagonist will be forever content listening to the wind blowing on his door every morning and watching the waves outside. I took the notes and played around on my keyboards a bit to evoke the wind and waves, though it ended up a little darker than I was intending - probably because I can hear the wind and waves outside my studio and I am feeling a bit chilly!

For a great version in Welsh, listen to Cerys Matthews: Ty Bach Twt - YouTube

Mae gen i dipyn o dŷ bach twt,
o dŷ bach twt, o dŷ bach twt.
Mae gen i dipyn o dŷ bach twt,
a’r gwynt i’r drws bob bore.

Hei di ho di hei di hei di ho,
a’r gwynt i’r drws bob bore.

Agorwch dipyn o gîl y drws,
o gîl y drws, o gîl y drws.
Agorwch dipyn o gîl y drws,
'gael gweld y môr a’r tonnau.

Hei di ho di hei di hei di ho,
'gael gweld y môr a’r tonnau.

Ac yma byddaf yn llon fy myd,
yn llon fy myd, yn llon fy myd.
Ac yma byddaf yn llon fy myd,
a’r gwynt i’r drws bob bore.

Hei di ho di hei di hei di ho,
a’r gwynt i’r drws bob bore.


I’ve got a little tidy house,
a little tidy house, a little tidy house.
I’ve got a little tidy house,
and the wind at the door every morning.

Hey dee hoe dee hey dee hey dee ho,
and the wind at the door every morning.

Open the door a little,
the door a little, the door a little.
Open the door a little,
have sight of the sea and the waves.

Hey dee hoe dee hey dee hey dee ho,
have sight of the sea and the waves.

And here I will be content forever,
content forever, content forever.
And here I will be content forever,
and the wind at the door every morning.

Hey dee hoe dee hey dee hey dee ho,
and the wind at the door every morning.

(Replying to these two here since no consecutive reply rule…)

@DeDe This is a truly beautiful piece of music. Love it love it love it.

@Hugh_G_Twatt Cymru am byth! :wales:

8 Likes

For my first participation to the Disquiet Junto Project, I chose the theme of the lullaby because it’s a genre that I am passionate about and that I have already worked on in the past.

The melody I used as a guideline comes from a very old Welsh lullaby called Peis Dinogat (‘Dinogad’s Smock’). It appears in a 13th century manuscript but was probably composed some century earlier. The lyrics, which I have deliberately left out in order to turn it into an instrumental piece, tell of a father’s exploits on the hunt, perhaps in the mode of lament. Among the list of tracked animals, there is mention of a place, Derwennydd Falls, whose precise location is open to speculation.

To fit the lullaby genre, I have kept the melody in all its beauty and simplicity by repeating it from beginning to end. The use of acoustic instruments accentuates the soft, organic feel and the stereo panning evokes the pendulum movement.

You can find a more standard version of this song on Youtube.

Enjoy your listening!

9 Likes

I chose to make an “abstract” version of the Scottish folk song Ally Bally (also known as “Coulter’s Candy” Coulter's Candy - Wikipedia). I used Stochas, and put all the notes in and attached that to a LABS piano, then used another LABS piano to play the themes, and ran those through Augustus Loops.

The title is the result of me trying to mess with “Ally Bally” in an anagram generator, then I thought about lullaby and alibi, and well frankly it doesn’t really make much sense. But I had to call it something. :wink:

5 Likes

Three Welsh ones in a row? I didn’t expect that! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

3 Likes

I was inspired to make a jazz arrangement of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Guitar chords and bass with some semi-competent guitar noodling over the top. The recording is a bit noisy, but I like it.

4 Likes

Doctor Foster always upset me as a child. I was dismayed that someone would refuse to return somewhere simply because they’d stepped in a puddle. I couldn’t fathom the sort of personality that would act in that way.

This is my riff on the traditional tune that accompanies the nursery rhyme. I don’t really know where I was going with this but I wouldn’t let a puddle stop me exploring.

Doctor Foster went to Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again.

4 Likes

you know this one, as twisted as they get, like a cartoon that is really not made for kids, in any case it was time to tantrum, um i mean rock wasn’t it?

3 Likes

What a prompt.

I remember one lullaby from my childhood, which I now find somewhat dark and even disturbing.
Here it is:

In translation, it means:
"
Don’t sleep close
To the edge of your cradle
Or gray wolf will come
And will bite you
"

Doesn’t it sound dark?

Anyway, I’ve kept this melody and lines in my head this entire week as I’ve been working on a composition.

But haven’t finished in time and I thought I’d skip this one, but just a few hours ago a friend helped me write a new piece.

He’s teaching a composition course and challenged his students to write a 2-min piece with these limitations:

  • only use a 12 seconds field recording as source material
  • it’s okay to layer sounds, change pitch, etc
  • limit any other effects to EQ & compression

He suggested I try it too, and here’s the result!

There’s also this real-time spectrogram (courtesy of trial version of iZotope Insight plug-in - finally a way to draw real-time, 3D spectrograms! Works really well for learning about gear and synthesis techniques):

I must say, I really enjoyed working within these constraints - it was also something very different from my usual studio practice. I think I learned a great deal while working on this piece.

I think all my thinking about that dark lullaby affected my composition decisions, even if I don’t directly reference it in this piece.

For the cover, I used a self-portrait I took the night before, with appropriately dark post-processing.

4 Likes