Treat the Notes That Form a Chord (Disquiet Junto 0227)

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at disquiet.com/junto, 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. 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 was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, May 5, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 9, 2016.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0227: Treated Chord
Record a piece of music in which what changes is the treatment of the notes that comprise a single chord.

Step 1: Choose a chord, any chord.

Step 2: Make a list of the notes that the chord is comprised of.

Step 3: Record each of the notes of the chord as a separate track.

Step 4: Create a piece of music in which each of those tracks plays from start to finish, and that as they play those tracks are manipulated individually (echo, texture, effects, relative volume, etc.).

Background: This project is inspired by the tape-cassette music of Amulets, aka Randall Taylor of Austin, Texas.

Deadline: This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, May 5, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 9, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you, though between one and three minutes feels about right.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, 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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0227.” Also use “disquiet0227” as a tag for your track.

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, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 227th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Record a piece of music in which what changes is the treatment of the notes that comprise a single chord”) at:

http://disquiet.com/0227/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

Image associated with this project adopted from a photo by Dan Barbus, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

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One chord and the truth. The first 10 participants’ tracks are up:

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Got around to my contribution today, pretty pleased with how it came out. I’d put the chord in the title but don’t know what it was. I thought it sounded nice though :wink:

Hiss and imperfections abound.

Recorded on the OP-1’s internal four track. Each note was given a sequence (of either the base note, or an octaved version) with some variations of spacing, speed, and note lengths. Each channel was recorded independently and tweaked along they way, either by way of synth timbre, fx, or sequence speed manipulation.

Everything was then recorded live running through a master fx unit on the OP-1 and a Roland RE-20 Space Echo.

Thanks @disquiet for another fun prompt :slight_smile:

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So I had a go, too, and I was pretty pleased with the results. Blurb from Soundcloud follows:

I’ve always been a fan of tracks made purely on a mixer, from the ethereal sound of no-input mixers through to making dub with some faders and effects sends. So I thought I’d put something together in that vein.

My favourite chord is the minor 9th: as a jazz player, it’s hugely handy, that 9th also being a leading second, or the minor ninth containing a minor triad on V and a major seventh on III. Lots of places to go and move from.

And I wanted to do something recorded. I am a somewhat lapsed flautist.

Inversions consists of seven flute notes: Db3, F3, Ab3, Bb3, C4, Db4, F4. Each is placed into an instance of Granulator on a channel in Ableton, and played in an infinite loop, the grains crossfading. A moderate amount of Convolution Reverb is applied to each track.

The final track was recorded in a single take, live. For three minutes, I rode the volume controls on an Ableton Push. (For those of you who insist you can only control two encoders at once: you are very mistaken; there are a few at-least three move fades in there, often in different directions). I tried to move between the various chords contained in those notes, often creating motion where there may not have been any to begin with. That makes it sound mechanical; it was very much an improvisation with what I heard in the speakers. It swells to the full chord, before sharply cutting back to a second, and then disappearing into the reverberant space.

I rather like the result.

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this is gorgeous @infovore !

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thanks so much! means a lot.

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My first attempt at a Disquiet Junto submission.

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Very lovely stuff! I’ve used a somewhat similar technique before with tape loops on 4-track. It’s a very interesting way to compose. The flute adds a great texture you don’t hear too often. I like the juxtaposition of the natural timbres with the infinite looping of the granularizers.

edit: And congratulations on getting your flute back out. I find the Juntos a great excuse to revisit old friends in new contexts.

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here’s my contribution to this junto project. an ambient drone soundscape. lap harp + ebow + fx + monome.

one of the things i really like about the junto is that it’s a communal exploration of process; discovering and re-discovering new and old tools–in this case, getting back into using my monome for both composition and performance.

my piece consists of four layered lap harp notes, played with an ebow, forming an A minor plus fourth chord. i recorded each individual bowed note without listening to the other notes, following the memory/blind process of field cascade from a few weeks ago. each element ran through strymon tape delay and reverb effects, with different settings, tweaked in real time. i then exported a higher-octave A note, dropped it into mlrv, and duplicated it on a three tracks. by altering playback speeds, mlrv allowed me to experiment with harmonic ratios. i added six more tracks to my ableton live session, one for each chopped note (and its delay/reverb FX send within mlrv) performed on a grayscale monome128.

i didn’t listen to the whole song until it was time for mixing, which just needed a few level adjustments to weave the glitchy monome snippets into the longer drone phrases. it turned out haunting; ethereal. the track title wrote itself.

recorded for weekly beats #18 and disquiet junto #0227, as both had the same deadline.

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The flute adds a great texture you don’t hear too often. I like the juxtaposition of the natural timbres with the infinite looping of the granularizers.

Thanks! I was deliberately trying to withhold vibrato - which is hard, when you’re so used to it as a natural part of technique - simply because it makes looping the audio later easier and cleaner. The Granulator simply came to me as a way of smoothing the loop points - crossfades are sometimes hard to judge right, wheras the Granulator was much more forgiving.

I was actually quite surprised - and pleased - by how relatively natural the looping came out, which is what I was hoping for.

(A big point of reference here, as well as shorter tape loops, was the very small amount of Phill Niblock I’ve heard, primarily Touch Three - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xc7vO-1f8M)

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