Disquiet Junto Project 0580: Evo Evol Evolve

A 45-seconds history of evolution of 3 overlapping ecosystems that compete for shared resources (in this case, energy in the frequency bands!)

As the new species join the party, the old ones have to adjust and make room.
As the old species get extinct, the ones that remain expand to fill the gaps.

What a beautiful prompt.
This week I didn’t have much time, yet still wanted to participate!

After thinking about evolution, I came up with a graphical score (on the picture) that represents the concept above and I implemented it with 3 layers of organic chaotic sounds played live one after another and recorded into DAW. Then I placed each layer in their own space (reverb) to separate them from one another a bit more.

Thinking about the prompt sparked many more ideas that I might want to explore later.


I wanted to created a track that sounds like the beginning of evolution. Bare earth, cosmic rays, lightning strikes, the grumbling and mumbling of the universe.

A short melodic pattern into Plaits, random engine changes, and into eels delay/filter (lightning, chemical processes, evolution) with some background noise (the universe).



i wasn’t originally going to do this one because my bf has been visiting this weekend, and i didn’t think i’d have the time to put a track together, even though i had a decent idea. however, i ended up falling asleep really early on saturday and so spent a little while before my bf woke up on sunday morning making a piece for this week.

the idea i had was to look at the concept of evolution in a musical sense. this was spurred by seeing some presets in arturia’s analog lab v labeled as “evolving keys” and “evolving pad”. i also thought about how music technology has evolved, from physical instruments and classical music to more modern things like synths (whether hardware or software) which can often produce sounds that no “real” instrument could, and of course this line of thinking eventually brought me onto the subject of ai.

i used music laboratory, a japanese site, to generate a midi file for me, then brought it into bitwig. i used analog lab v for most of the tracks, using the evolving keys and evolving pads that i mentioned. on one track i used a bass guitar virtual instrument instead, though this was heavily processed to add to the “evolution” theme.

once i’d done all this i felt like it was slightly dry so i went searching on freesound to try and find something appropriate to drop in. i found a pretty suitable vocal clip which i added into the song a few times, this again was heavily processed, mainly with izotope’s nectar and vocalsynth plugins.

i applied my usual mastering chain and rendered it out, all in all it was a quick piece to create, but i think it sounds quite nice. i came up with the title by looking for synonyms of “creation” and “evolution”, and plugged the title and relevant keywords into nightcafe studio to come up with the art - i feel like it came up with a particularly pleasing image this time.

hope people enjoy this piece. it’s a bit shorter than my usual submissions but i don’t want to make a huge long song every time.

by the way, @disquiet, i would be interested in taking part in the “junto profile” thing, if you’ll have me. my participation has been a bit sporadic but i’ve been here since it started, so i should qualify.

anyway, without further ado, here is this week’s piece:


At first I thought I’d use the evolution of the ear from gills and so on, so I started to research this topic. Although it’s extremely interesting, I could not make a connection to something conceptually musical. Still, somewhat related was the idea of the earth eons ago, swamp-like, rainforest, the first people making pentatonic melodies, then more modern times, and in the end, who knows, an evolution to the stars. Ok, too much like 2001 Space Odyssey, I know. Nevertheless, I went with it.


This is my interpretation of the evolution of plant communities through the ages – from the smallest of flora to massive forests. It’s also an imagining of photosynthesis beginning with the first rays of morning sunlight.

I initially created this over a year ago but ended up totally reworking most of it for this project. The final couple minutes is a little too over-the-top than what I would have liked, but I decided to keep it rather than rework that section.

Main audio was created on an iPad using Spectrum Modal, Zoa and Xynthesizr apps, and imported into Ableton Live. Supporting tracks were added using FRMS, Pigments, and Minifreak V software instruments. Forest image by Casey Horner via Unsplash.


So here’s my evolution track. Starts as one theme, then another joins in, then a third, a guitar, and then two synths hooked up to Stochas join in.


One of my favorite ideas about evolution is that natural selection doesn’t care about individuals. (The only plausible units of natural selection are groups and genes.) This piece plays with this idea by running different source materials (field recordings, sine tone, and flute) through layers of effects that seem perpetually indifferent to the source.


Just the life cycle of a plant growing new shoots, through their slow decay returning to the earth. Short organ loop run through the CalSynth Rangoon + ALA Cumulus and output into the ALM tangle quartet. Ever changing LFOs to shape the amplitude of each output.


I thought back on my own time as a clarinetist, recalling what I played when I began and then through to today. I selected highlights, put them together in a mostly-chronological order (with some liberty for transitions), and recorded playing through them - with a healthy amount of ornamentation and improvisation, especially between “pieces.”


@Jazzaria I enjoy the in between stuff a lot. You slip in and out of pieces before you feel like you’ve had too much of one thing - well calculated law of diminishing returns? I played the clarinet in high school and this brought me into this “omg I can’t name that tune” excitement mode, especially the early ones. Thank you.


Because of this week’s prompt I have been grappling more than usual with half-baked wonderings such as: how might individual-level agency, curiosity and desire eventually contribute to the sum total of evolution if even at all? What does it mean to think of mutations as risky miniature acts of selective rebellion? And how does it feel subjectively for each life form to find themselves as tiny unwitting participants within vast unfolding and unfathomable processes? :face_with_spiral_eyes::face_with_spiral_eyes::face_with_spiral_eyes:

I decided that mainly I wanted to use the prompt as an excuse to try to take the perspective of an emergent proto octopus - I love that they are some of our most distant and mysterious evolutionary relatives. Well the resulting track is my emotional response to some of these vague, re-volving and unresolved themes anyway. It is perhaps one of the most amorphous things I have ever allowed myself to create so far.

Animoog Z was the only synth I used this time. Oh and I used some aquatic samples to modify a few of my timbres too. This was a fun feature to tinker with.

Like @krankenkraft, I dabbled with ZOA generative sequencer in iOS, and incorporated factors of 8 wherever possible, in an attempt to encode some kind of simplistic nod to evolutionary processes. I have also obviously tried to layer my sounds incrementally, to suggest emerging and merging mutations and complexity. But in the end this was all just a jumping-off point for something more intuitive and emotionally exploratory. I enjoyed this prompt, even though the results feel unfinished to me.

Image credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration & Research from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


Various monosynth filter sweeps played against each other and modulated by a couple of Felt Instruments’ Smugi sequenced filterbanks. The idea being the sound evolves until it reaches a point of overrunning the system and then extinguishes itself. As I write this, during a second extreme weather event in a matter of days, I can’t help thinking of our tenure as a species and the likelihood our evolution may come to a shuddering halt of our own design.


You slip in and out of pieces before you feel like you’ve had too much of one thing - well calculated law of diminishing returns?

Partly that, partly restlessness, and partly hoping to dodge over-zealous copyright takedowns :sweat_smile: (I truly believe what I’m doing is “fair use”, and much of it is public domain anyway, especially the extended bits. But I’ve gotten takedowns on Bach before!)

Thanks for the kind words!


Starting to ponder about evolution I thought of the so-called primordial soup, a mixture of chemicals and a constant thunderstorm. From that I derived the idea of raindrops turning into piano-sounds - the evolution towards the first music.
I admit that diverges strongly from the assignment, but I was very fond of that idea and decided to implement it.

I used my favourite sequencer plugin Transition (you know, the bots in the matrix…) to play raindrops. In the beginning the bots move very randomly, but slowly the randomness is reduced and an order, a melody begins to appear. Pianosounds fade in and replace the drops.
Another instance of Transition plays chords, first pad-sounds derived from raindrops, changing to Hauschka piano-chords.
The hitpoints of the fieldrecording of rain (simply extractable with Cubase) start playing a high-pitched piano slowly fading in. The pitches are randomized with a simple Midi-modifier. For some duration this is layered with a choir - just an inspiration.
Hitpoints with a higher velocity additionally play bass-notes on piano.

Time was limited this weekend, so I am rather content with what I achieved. And I am grateful for this great prompt that gave me this wonderful inspiration.


Seeking to triumph

Evolution of life on earth, volcanic electrical storm sparking cellular life in the tide pool, organizing mutating & developing into the myriad beings and lifeforms possible. The hum of life-force amplified and developed by advancing minds, rudiments of what becomes music, after millennia of civilization becoming infused with thoughts of supreme being and organized vibration in service of worship, even later developed and used for creative self expression, again transforming with society & culture into many forms of function, entertainment, and expression. A metaphor for my own musical evolution and development, through the phases of popular, soundtrack, noise, & academic musics that influenced me moving toward whatever is immanent. Millions of years, 6 decades, a few minutes, a drop in the bucket, its all relative.
Field recordings, sampled orchestral instruments, Absyth & Reaktor 5 synths in Ableton construction.


evolutionary tactics through splice and chance


My submission this week is inspired by the Gar fish. Out of pure coincidence, this past weekend involved a family trip to the aquarium and the zoo - including the reptile exhibit, so I was able to really tune in to this prompt. The one animal that caught my attention was the Gar. Its long jaw and multiple fins made it almost look like it could crawl out of the water onto land. It reminded me of this video game I used to play as a kid: E.V.O.: Search for Eden for Super Nintendo. I was never good at the game, but the evolution of the initial aquatic characters fascinated me.

My track is more conceptual and I did not spend as much time on it as I did on my last submissions. But that is important to me because I want to be able to participate in the future even if I am short on time.

In the end, what I came up with is a two part piece. It starts underwater, the Gar develops a heartbeat, emerges onto land, learns to breathe and walks away from the coast into the jungle. The track is bookended by two explosions: the Big Bang and then the meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Just thirteen billion years or so - give or take!

“Underwater Ambience” Sound Effect from Pixabay

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay


There was a decent chance this wouldn’t be released, but I was determined to finish it. Usually, the overall structure of my submissions are finalized by day one, but this song “evolved” considerably from Friday to Monday, doubling in length from one to two minutes and using radically different sounds on the final version compared to the initial draft.

To represent the early stages of the organism, I recorded some freeform watery xylophone and Fender Rhodes sounds on Logic with lots of delay, reverb, and even a ringshifter. These components persist throughout the next phases of the song, although they peter out in favor of more structured parts. By the 19 second mark, the undefined organicism begins to move as indicated by the introduction of a semi-structured vibraphone riff. Some programmed tin can crinkles, which represent the bone growth of the organism, segue into the next section. By this point, a considerable amount of aging has occurred, as indicated by the dissonant and legato synth pads. Death suddenly befalls the creature by the two minute and eight second mark.


This is from a Feb 11th live jam with Creatures Once bandmate Monstrosus. A lot of jams naturally evolve into the musical creatures they are trying to become when they grow up. Like many others this one started with one of us playing some sounds, then we keep layering and evolving. This was edited for length, down from 25 minutes, and when some elements stop and start. Added a little extra reverb and delay. Then recorded some live drums earlier today for as the final more dramatic phase in the evolution.
Image from Dall E-2 experiments for our upcoming album, prompt: “3d render of a salamander mixed with crane bird hybrid creature in the high desert of eastern washington”, so that seems to fit here too.


My idea for this Junto was to start with a simple tone, melody and rhythm and how this could evolve to something more complex. This simple tone ‘opens’ up and evolves in the sense, that the degree of motion in the piece (tonality, rhythm, fx processing and timbre) gradually becomes more complex, which mirrors the way a single simple cell has evolved towards complex creatures. [Disquiet0580] Evo Evol Evolve, etude