Ice Music: Year's First Project (Disquiet Junto 0262)

Placeholder until project goes live.

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.

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 9, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0262: Ice Code
The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.

Welcome to a new year. This week’s project is as follows. It’s the same project we’ve begun each year with since the very first Junto project, back in January 2012. The project is, per tradition, just this one sentence:

Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it.

Background: Longtime participants in, and observers of, the Disquiet Junto series will recognize this single-sentence assignment — “Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it” — as the very first Disquiet Junto project, the same one that launched the series back on the first Thursday of January 2012. Revisiting it at the start of each year since has provided a fitting way to begin the new year. At the start of the sixth (!) year of the Disquiet Junto, it is a tradition. A weekly project series can come to overemphasize novelty, and it’s helpful to revisit old projects as much as it is to engage with new ones. Also, by its very nature, the Disquiet Junto suggests itself as a fast pace: a four-day production window, a regular if not weekly habit. It can be beneficial to step back and see things from a longer perspective.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0262″ (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In this discussion thread at please consider posting your track.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 9, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Length: The length is up to you, but three to four minutes sounds about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0262” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and 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 preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 262nd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Ice Code: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it”:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Project discussion takes place on

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to for Slack inclusion.

Photo associated with this project is by Fabienne D, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:


This is my fifth year of doing the Ice Code challenge - my resolution for this year is to really get to grips with the Blocks system in Reaktor. Unfortunately my current efforts are a bit hard to tame so I used the Metaphysical Function ensemble in Reaktor to play back the sample I use in all the previous challenges and jiggled the oscillators and sample scrubbing.



Like @Noimspartacus, this is my fifth attempt at this project.

Last year it was a challenge to improve on 2015’s effort but I was prepared this time, having taken the opportunity to record my outlaws’ glasses and finding they had some very nice crystal. I think I’ll be using these samples again next year.

Once again I used falling ice cubes to create a percussion part. This year I tried to keep many of the samples at their original pitch and I think it contributed to an interesting key for the track.

See my blog for details.


I wonder how many people have done four or five of this particular assignment.

You could put a poll on here?

It’d also be interesting to learn what participants have learned from the process. Which techniques they’ve continued to use and which they’ve abandoned.

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Hello all,

This week I got my sounds from to Dkelly99, Agonda, Ftpalad, Mc-minnaar,
SkeetMasterFunk69, Jaturo & Mixtus)
All the sounds got looped, tempo changed with Audacity

Take care


my track:


i’m on four atm, fwiw.

i’m not claiming to have learned anything, but i try to make each version/iteration a kind of response to the previous one[s]

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I recorded a heart shaped piece of ice being dropped into a tumbler, and then shaken lightly. I then treated the recorded snippets by variously stretching, slowing down and reversing, and pitch shifting the results. I then laid them out according to a set of simple rules, and this track resulted.

  • This is my first annual “ice” Junto project.
  • I’ve done all 6 ice projects since January 2012.
  • I’ve done 5 ice projects since January 2012.
  • I’ve done 4 ice projects since January 2012.
  • I’ve done 3 ice projects since January 2012.
  • I’ve done 2 ice projects since January 2012.
  • I’m not sure what this poll is about.

0 voters

Thanks to @bassling for suggesting I do this as a poll. And note his related request, which @jks has already weight in on:

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Cheers @disquiet

My math is often wonky but this is my fifth ice junto since 2013. So, that includes that year then 2014, '15, '16 and now '17.

Is there anyone who’s done six ice juntos?

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Ooh, I fixed the poll. This is the sixth. I’d forgotten.

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This is my 6th “record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it”.

I recorded 10 seconds of ice clinking, put it through various things, multi-tracked, added fx, and so on.

Then I didn’t even use any of that.

Instead, I recorded the lingering delayed sounds as the basis, added a few things here and there, and here it is.

Very fitting we do the “ice” thing at this time of year. -15C right now, after a high today of -11C. Not counting the wind. What a fun week.


I opted to remix my project from last year, which had a lot of cool ideas in it but felt kind of inert to me. The original ice cube recordings:…y/sounds/114248/

These have been sampled, played back, resampled, stretched and had all kinds of other manipulations applied. Enjoy.


This is my first ever attempt at the project’s ‘ice cube’ challenge (and hopefully there will be many more to come).

There are some excellent ‘percussive’ tracks already, so I decided to go down a different route. I used five samples of ice cubes (in glasses, being crushed, chewed, etc.) and messed around with them: extreme EQ to boost the low end / cut out harshness at the high end, heavy compression, subtle panning and filtering, stretching, dronification(!) and generally not allowing them to bear any resemblance to their original form.


Great soundtrack and video. Surrealist, funny and poetic at the same time.


This is not an inspiring theme/challenge for me, that’s why I decided to go for it.
I recorded some ice cubes on a big wine glass, after playing back that raw recording the challenge was even less inspiring, if possible.
After listening to the early birds AudioObscura Noimspartacus and Bassling I’ve found their efforts much inspiring (thanks guys) so here’s mine (first ice cube audio experience for me)

My wife bought some plastic ice cubes. Yes she did. Guess most of you know they exists, but I was surprised.
She has a point, you know, when you add ice cubes to a not-fairly-cool drink you need some time for the ice to operate it’s magic and by then you have water in your drink. I don’t like that, so these little plastic friends are ice cold with no pollution on your beloved drink.
But they sound awful.

You’ll hear a track of the plastic (in the photo BTW) rattled inside the glass, another track of the same coloured cubes dropping on a glass of water, and then the same procedures with normal ice cubes.
I wanted this to sound like some classy dandy stirring his ice-cube drenched cocktail but it sounds like some space rain drops on a rusty railroad…

Recipe: I pitched down the rattling tracks, pasted the ice-cube-drops to NI FM8 synth and used a plastic-rattling-cubes track as a carrier for an instance of Waves Morphoder plugin, Played back the whole thing through convolution reverbs. And that’s it. You can add a zest of lemon and enjoy. On the rocks.


Sounds refreshing. Good to read how you got around the “awful” sounding source material.

It reminded me that glass can sound really harsh at times. Each year there’s a point when I wonder whether I want to persist with the project.