Disquiet Junto Project 0580: Evo Evol Evolve

This post went live at disquiet.com/0580 (thanks, powers of automation) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on Thursday, February 9. (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. (I’m taking a Twitter break at the moment.) And if you’re on Mastodon, please use the #DisquietJunto tag. Much appreciated.

First, a development: I’ve started a new Junto undertaking, where I’ll be doing short profiles of members of the Disquiet Junto community in Q&A form. If you have Disquiet.com in your RSS reader, then you likely saw the piece on Daniel Díaz (aka @DeDe) that I posted on Monday. I have two more ready to go, and several others in the works. (Daniel’s includes his photo and his full name, but that isn’t a requirement if you’re especially camera-shy or privacy-minded.) Going forward, my plan for this series, which is simply called the “Junto Profile,” is to focus on individuals who’ve participated regularly for, say, at least nine months. We’ll see how this takes shape. Things evolve (which is also the theme of this week’s project). I have wanted to do something along these lines for a very long time, and I actually took stabs at it in the past, and now I am finally actually doing it. I think the series will be a great way for participants in the Junto to have a richer sense of the varied perspectives, backgrounds, and thoughts of the people they’re creating alongside asynchronously, and often across great distances. If you’re interested in being part of it, let me know. And if English isn’t your first language, that is no concern. I can put resources together where translation would be beneficial.

And now, on to the project:

Disquiet Junto Project 0580: Evo Evol Evolve

The Assignment: Record a piece of music that develops like an organism evolves.

Step 1: You’re going to record a piece of music informed by evolution. Think of stages of evolution, perhaps choosing a specific animal or other life form that evolved over time.

Step 2: Record a piece of music that evolves as it proceeds, based on the patterns (phases, stages) you explored in Step 1. And yes, animals that went extinct are a potential subject.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0580” (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 “disquiet0580” (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:


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:

Length: The length is up to you. Evolution takes a long time, but depicting it needn’t.

Deadline: Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, February 13, 2023, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, February 9, 2023.

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 580th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Evo Evol Evolve (The Assignment: Record a piece of music that develops like an organism evolves), at: Disquiet Junto Project 0580: Evo Evol Evolve – Disquiet

More on the Disquiet Junto at: Disquiet Junto F.A.Q. – Disquiet

Subscribe to project announcements here: Disquiet Junto by Marc Weidenbaum (Disquiet.com)

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0580-evo-evol-evolve/


And the project is now live.

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Hello, my contribution to the project on evolution. 3 parts inspired by cicada life. On Moog and Mutable instruments…


I made this my little quick fire challenge. I looked at images of leaf evolution and used them as inspiration. I recorded my impromv/ptu as a midi file on the hybrid piano and put things together in GarageBand.


My take on this week’s topic is based on the idea of an evolving eco system and how individual organisms contribute to their environment.
In my case, the environment is my small studio in the attic of my house and the individual organisms are the various synths, modular and otherwise, that are all connected to one another in some form and fed through various loopers to create a self-generating soundscape.


@Spanneut - Love the cicada wing buzz!!

@Kitzmann - Amazingly sounds like the dawn of humanity!

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The prehistoric Pterosaur has evolved through millions of years to the birds we know today. Watch a great blue heron as it takes off and flies through the air as you listen to the sounds in Echo Evo Evolve disquiet0580


I took my inspiration from the long evolution of insect species on the planet, considering the vast scale of evolution from primordial epochs up to the present, where insect species are front-and-centre in the Sixth Great Extinction of the late Anthropocene.

SuperCollider came to mind again as a tool for realisation, since I had ‘traditional’ forms of ‘computer music’ in mind - especially Bernard Parmegiani’s epic La Creatione De Monde (1984)

Now, obviously I don’t have a) a year up my sleeve; and b) the coding faculty in SC to pull off such a gargantuan feat, but I thought it might be a cool point of reference that I could fold into my current understanding (as a beginner) in the SC environment.

Recently I got to grips with buffering audio samples and using sequences to control various patterns - both melodic and percussive. I created a couple of dictionaries of short percussive samples (kalimba, woodblock and guiro) as well as instantiating a couple of Synth objects that produce pure waves. The percussive sounds turned out well when triggered, sequenced and manipulated and I liked the interplay with the pure waves.

My track is a bit longer than my usual submissions (~6 mins) but I thought I needed a decent span of time to realise a time compression of a few hundred million years of evolution.

For the realisation, I live-coded from the initial script (see GitHub link below) and then adjusted various parameters, arguments and variable throughout. The idea was to start amongst the matter of the cosmos and then gradually render a semblance of life on Earth. Eventually, an abundance takes form, before the insect population starts to diminish at the close. It not strictly a linear progression; rather, a fairly wobbly negative exponential progression. I’m still getting to grips with controlling instruments on the fly in SC, but I think I’m improving.

I was happily surprised when I saw the spectrogram of this track. Its progression of blobs, smears and flurries of activity over a time series seemed fitting!


The so-called Horseshoe crab came to mind after I wondered what my son would pick.

He described these as a poster child for not evolving.

As I considered how that might sound, I remembered a sketch of a riff that had been sitting on my desktop for a few months.



Single track of the Euclidean Rhythmicon - A 12 note pitch sequence progressively unmuted then muted with the odd note inversion and a slight variation to the number of steps on one of the rhythm sequencers. There is a touch of Sugar Bytes Graindad in the mix and the reverb is Softube’s Atlantic Dual Chambers. The delay is Replica XT.


And the playlist is rolling:


When I first read the title of this project, it immediately brought to mind a delay. The evolutional angle is obviously something else but I would argue the two are not entirely incompatible. When I’m thinking of complex delays, I think of frippertronics. Since the tape loops were several seconds long, when you play this setup, you need to adapt the notes played to what’s already around in the loop. Notes that fit more get used more, notes that aren’t useful anymore die out. Sounds like evolution to me.

These days I’m pretty into King Crimson’s Discipline trilogy. The frippertronics usage on those records is different from “Evening Star”: there’s less reverberation, less volume enveloping, and quicker harmony changes. The general sound of those albums is firmly rooted in the 1980s, and Robert Fripp described what he was after as an attempt to create “the rock gamelan”. The gamelan itself is supposed to be an intricate, finely worked performance by an ensemble, characterized by smoothness and elegance.

Therefore, I went and tried to create a piece in this style. Frippertronics that evolve into something intricate and smooth, with elements that don’t fit dying out while those which work prevailing and expanding. My “frippertronics” is just a Spectral Time delay from Ableton Live. I used my Yamaha Revstar guitar distorted through the Yamaha THR30-II amp and quickly discovered that the dry sound of the delay loop without reverberation creates really pleasantly sounding guitar tones where the incidental noises from the guitar are an important component. So I started with that, even using mostly muted picking to accentuate those incidentals.

Then, to fill the void left by the lack of reverb and spurious note sustains, I layered a CP-300 e-piano (also routed through frippertronics), and then an FM slap bass, and TR-707 drum samples. Each track was recorded in essentially a single take but there needed to be many takes because the nature of frippertronics make the music adopt a natural ebb and flow that I wasn’t prepared to be able to easily quantize. Even small timing mistakes get compounded with the multiple loop passes.

I wonder what you think of the end result. I found it pretty unique. Even though I started from the strong Discipline angle, and deliberately used era-appropriate instrumentation, the end result stands alone.

3s tape loop, D-major


Hey All,
When I started to think of evolution I remembered what blew my mind as a little kid. It was the fact that dolphins and whales once lived on land and returned back to the sea and that is why they had blow holes.
Also as a kid I watched the TV show “Flipper” in reruns. I loved that show and Flipper was pretty damn smart and could kind of communicate.
I don’t know much about evolution and the chicken or the egg. I just imagined like the early dolphins and whales when they were living on land. They meet the early humans that looked kinda like squirrels and decide there is something sinister and greedy in their beady little eyes and say “Fuck it, let’s go back underwater.” Little did they know then when they made the decision that we would still find a way to crush their vibe
This track represents evolution in the fact that we live in the cacophony towards the end when change exponentially accelerates. The reptile brain makes way for a new consciousness not constrained to a single body but one that lives on in the cloud united with all with brief glimpses of the infinite.
Hope all are well.

Peace, Hugh


everything revolves around an eight second sample from a prepared piano

the sample was used to generate a bass pattern, accompanying drums, dark drones, a paulstretched halo, and mechanised time keepers

soft keys and guitars evolve


Hi, I had some fun with this one, a wrong take on Butterflies’ life cycle. They are supposed to arrive to the prettier stage in the end but my track moves backwards, from a gentle and nice pastoral in the first section to a cheesy jazz ballad, then chaotic and quite ugly electro-acoustic free-jazz third section.
It’s always the same “theme” with variations, that was my actual “exercise” here.
I used
Fretless bass
Orchestral samples

DD, Friday 10 and Saturday 11 February 2023
Photo by Fleur


How is the second section cheesy? How is the third one ugly?

I actually think this tune can easily demonstrate true evolution: in the beginning you’re gentle and naive, in time you get more thick-skinned but also sophisticated.

The theme isn’t easily recognizable across the three parts but its existence provides enough cohesiveness between the different parts in the piece that it does feel like a single track in the end.

Awesome take on the prompt but also a great track in its own right.


@RPLKTR agreed! I love the “cheesy” ballad @DeDe :laughing:


I actually think this tune can easily demonstrate true evolution: in the beginning you’re gentle and naive, in time you get more thick-skinned but also sophisticated.

Thank you for your nice words, actually the evolution of my little theme made sense like this for me too, I was aiming the butterfly thing but decided to make it backwards for music’s sake. So the last part is the caterpillar and the first one the adult butterfly stage.

How is the second section cheesy? How is the third one ugly?

Yes, well ugly is not the word I was looking for (and I never found) let’s say nasty or mean
Cheesy, you know I was paying my private tribute to Burt Bacharach yesterday when I read the email. I wanted to score a simple ballad in his signature style and learn a bit how to use some new great sample libraries I’ve got for Black Friday (and didn’t master yet) . Strings, horns and woodwinds.
But my feeling was, when B.B. does it it gets elegant and lush, when I do it it gets cheesy ha ha
But hey, arranging strings and woodwinds on a pop song comparing to Burt Bacharach? the bar is too high for anybody.
God bless his soul and voicings…

@kterauch kterauch thanks a lot, really appreciate.

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Out of curiosity, I had just bought a sequencer called ZOA, so I decided to go with the “Game of Life” approach of this sequencer (chances are I’m not alone in this). In case you’re not familiar with the concept: Conway’s Game of Life is a cellular model of evolution in which the life of each cell depends on the life of neighboring cells. In ZOA, each cell is a note and four sequencers play these notes according to additional rules. ZOA adds features like MIDI, and I liked that a lot.

What I didn’t like was the randomness of the melodies, but hey, isn’t life random in the first place? (Big debate… let’s say: Sometimes it feels random…) I had pushed the development by changing the probability of the notes by hand. If the game of life had come to a halt with some dead pattern, I would have used that, but I didn’t want to force it.

I played with many instruments and patterns, but in the end I reduced it to two tracks of eighth notes. For the beginning and the end I chose a cheap fade-in, fade-out, because life came quietly and very slowly out of nowhere, and I think that according to current scientific knowledge, one day it will end like that and just fade out.

Self verdict: The track is soulless and meaningless, like the evolution of life, which need not mean that listeners could not hear either soul or meaning in it if they felt like it.