The Genre of Broken Sound (Disquiet Junto Project 0274)

I made a sound. I broke it. Sorry.



  1. vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s ear.
  2. sound produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise.
    Together this gives us, “Vibrations that travel through the air or another medium produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise.”

Broken sound would be a genre where sound is interrupted by noise. Instead of this being a competition between the two or one getting in the way of the other, this piece has the two working together.

In 1976 I created a number of piece of music using the only tools available to me at the time, two reel-to-reel tape recorders. Rory Tory is the only piece that survives today and is a little over 45 minutes in length. I have taken a section near the end of the piece and given it accompaniment by flute, two clarinets, horn and bassoon.

The score is available at
The electronic section is available at


I’m finishing these commission mostly electric basses , it’s a trilogy but today I recorded a 4th part for this junto, a solo bass performance, and then “broke” the low notes that populate the pauses with extreme tremolos, chopper, skidder and regular tremolos at hard settings (square wave, loads of drive and saturation)
I love the way those tremolos, used in this “chop down” way, break the decay of the notes and make the soft vanish of music sound beautifully wrong.

Added huge reverbs and wah wah on the reverb.
Broken ambient bass.

Nightwatch IV: Something’s Broken.
Solo electric bass performance by d.d,
treatments: reverb, tremolos, chopper, vibrolo, granulator, wah-wah

Nightwatch series / copyright © Sabine Pigalle

music recorded Friday 31st march 2017 at the pleasure dome.

Recorded fro DD’s ongoing series Film Noir/NightWatch and for
Diquiet junto project 0274

More on this 274th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Broken Sound: Record a piece of music in the genre called ‘broken sound’” — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

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Sheesh, March going on April already and this is my first Junto contribution of the year!
Busy times- my mom and aunt are in town visiting from Canada, asleep in the other room, we are going to Kobe bright and early tomorrow morning and here I am making horrible noise in my pajamas because inspiration strikes at the most inconvenient times.

Handmade cassette tape loops and repeat/looper/pitch control function abuse of a Sony TCM-900 tape recorder, cut up and multitracked in Audacity. Initially I was thinking of “broken music” in terms of sampling the little click/fissure on a tape loop, but then ended up multi-tracking a bunch of short one-minute sessions, cut them into sections and put them together into a short little ditty. Enjoy!


Hello, this is my first track for Disquiet Junto!
I’ve built a kaivo preset and I added a delay.
Then, I played around with a classic guitar library and play drums deliberately out of time.
Lastly, I added a first try Onde Martenot’s part.
Everything played without much care.
Thank you very much!


Suss Müsik is egalitarian when it comes to concept development. We asked our friend Carvin to describe the experience of listening to a genre called broken sound. What does it sound like, Carvin?

“The sonic equivalent of H.P. Lovecraft’s description of the Old Ones,” he replied. “Incomplete, phasing in and out of dimensions, and the sight of which drives one to insanity.”

Love it. Tell us more.

“Tonally frustrating. The rhythm and phrases are out of time and place. They’re there and then they’re not. Cohesion and confusion buried deep. Like DNA with chunks of helixes missing and replaced with something else.”

For this project, Suss Müsik distorted the concept of broken consort, which refers to Baroque music composed for instruments of more than one family (i.e.; strings and woodwinds). We used piano in addition to such nontraditional “instruments” as power tools, electronic gadgets and mechanical toys.

The result is an amorphous, glitchy mess of a piece: creepy, unstructured, atmospheric, dissonant and decidedly unrefined. It’s not exactly ambient in the usual sense, yet you’d be hard pressed to score any notation except in rare bits.

The piece is titled Nyarlathotep, named after the evil shape-shifting deity invented by Lovecraft who is capable of assuming 1,000 unique formations. The image is a blob of clear liquid soap.


We used old electronic toys as well. Can’t reveal which one(s) were used, exactly. Your results were more inspired.

1 Like

This is it…
Broken Charm(disquiet0274)
What you get when you mix disappointment, the new Cubasis Room Works, Kiev, Chicago, short wave radio, voice tests and loads of effects? This weeks piece. Started with a nice Chicago bass line in Gadget, added a sparse but heavy beat and loaded up all sorts of field recordings. Disembodied voices, shortwave, static, and old 78 record noises where loaded into multiple instances of Abu Dhabi sampler and applied as needed. I was looking for more of a personal broken with the sound, not the broken sound itself…huh That made sense :-/ Anyways, only iOS toys were injured here, Gadget, Cubasis, Audioshare, F-16, and Algoridims dj2. somehow I got lost along the way…


Nice link, I am going to have some fun with that later


“…And this house is such a shit hole. I don’t have the energy for it, man. The emotional energy. I just don’t want to be here. I don’t give a fuck…”

Broken: “(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing.”

Sound: “sound produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise”


Umm I kind of just messed around until I thought it had some cool stuff. I used quite a lot of Abelton beat repeat. There are four tracks, a drum track, a guitar track (with beat repeat) in the mid range, a high range track, and my son doing throat singing in the low range.


This was pretty hard to do without thinking of noise music in general and I tried to stray away from that because I thought it’d be too on the nose. I don’t think I strayed far enough, but the process here is taking an ALREADY existing song (internet points if you guess which one, gaming nerds) and stretching, reversing, then applying destructive filters from a brew I quite like (aka breaking something that already exists). On top I placed some chord pads in key (which are also a bit broken/gated). Also some drums because breaking sometimes is about the hits.


Great idea, and it shows the versatility of your work over the year too: you can hear the individual pieces!


Broken mood this evening… Made some broken music.


most everything i do aspires to the condition of broken sound…

But, on reflection, you can’t really break sound, whilst there’s still something to hear, right? You can degrade and damage it but actual capital b breaking is binary; it either is or it isn’t, seems to me anyhow…

anyway, so i decided to take a bunch of files - my track count. All of goo, some recordings of the rain and hail from earlier today, some sounds of public transport infrastructure i’d recorded earlier in the week - and played them back one at a time into my Zoom recorder whilst, uhm, waggling the input wire about so all its connections were intermittent, often in one stereo channel rather than both, thereby breaking the sound, right?

An awkward way to make a semi-percussive mess but, equally, a pretty fun way to spend a couple of hours.

[with thanks to @fjna for pointing out i’d tagged it as 0247 rather than 0274. * d u h *]


Here’s mine:

For this project, I revisited my first Disquiet Junto entry ( Before that work reached its final form, I had recorded a track of the melody on piano, and a track of accompanying piano chords. I ran each of those tracks through a home-built Pure Data patch that uses noise values to play parts of the tracks at different frequencies, and to mute playback when the values are in a certain range. The patch also adds a low-pass filter, very short stereo delay, and limiting. The resulting tracks were panned 40% left and right and mixed in Audacity.


To me the most obvious and literal broken sound is clipping. I opened a file recently that was incompatible with the software and it opened with an absurd amount of gain, something like 14,000x, the software could not read it and was reduced to bleeps and bloops trying to parse it. I thought I had made a recording of the output but can’t find it now. So though not quite the same, the first part of this track is what happens when you open an .aifc file in Audacity, lots of gain and clipping. This is a minute long thumb piano file. The rest of the track is a short paulstretch synth piece that I maxed out the amplify effect in Audacity with, then added overdrive, then another layer of distortion.


Hello, here’s my contribution for this week. Live recorded from playing with Aalto and a little sound squeezing effect. How to break sound without making noise?


Love an imagined genre.

i think I went for more broken music than broken sound but it was cranky good fun.



this assignment was quite easy for me to accomplish because i have several hours of stuff like this recorded with a friend from 2010 til 2013.
this track was recorded live and there are no overdubs, mixing or other manipulations done after the recoding.
as far as i can remember we used EMS Synthi Custom,Guitars,Bass,Voice,
Looper,Ringmodulators,Drum Machine,RE-201 and some Foot pedals.