This was most recently updated on 2016.01.19. New and edited information is marked with a delta symbol (Δ).
Q: What is the Disquiet Junto?
A: The Disquiet Junto is a group based on Soundcloud.com where musicians respond to weekly, fast-turnaround assignments to compose, record, and share new music. The idea is to use restraints as a springboard for creativity.
Q: How long has the group been around?
A: The first Junto project began on the first Thursday of January 2012, and the series has continued weekly since then.
Q: Is there a list of all the projects?
A: Yes. Here: “Disquiet Junto Project List.”
Q: Is there an email list for announcements?
A: Yes. To subscribe and unsubscribe, go to: tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto.
Δ Q: How does the group work?
A: A project is announced each Thursday — usually around oon, California time — and it is due the following Monday by 11:59pm (that’s 11:59pm wherever you happen to be). You upload your track to your Soundcloud account. Then you associate it with the Junto group. And you include the appropriate tag with the track, as delineated in the project’s instructions, and include that tag in the name of the track (the tag is the word “Disquiet” followed by a four-digit number followed by a hyphen followed by a keyword, such as “Disquiet0003-glass” — again, the number and keyword are provided as part of the assignment). Be sure to click the “Add to group” button below your track’s waveform, and select the Disquiet Junto group. Here’s what the “join” button looks like on the Junto page on SoundCloud:
And here’s an example of the “Add to group” button. It’s between “Add to playlist” and “Share”:
Q: Why isn’t my track showing up in the Junto group?
A: Read the previous question and follow those directions. If that doesn’t work, get in touch with the group’s founder and moderator, Marc Weidenbaum, at email@example.com.
Q: Should I provide any additional information?
A: Yes, please. Please include with your uploaded track some description of both (1) the compositional approach you had undertaken, as well as (2) the equipment and process you employed to achieve it.
Q: Do I need to participate every week?
A: Gosh no. There is no intent to pressure anyone to do any more than they have time for.
Q: I’m excited to participate, but I don’t want listeners to confuse my Disquiet Junto projects with my “real” music/sound work. Any suggestions?
A: Certainly. Variations on this question have been raised by many participants in the Disquiet Junto projects. Someone who makes minimal techno or singer-songwriter music or chamber music might not want listeners to their SoundCloud accounts have the listening experience broken up by remixed Thomas Edison cylinder or autobiographical spoken word recordings or any other number of incongruous project-derived tracks. The best option may be to create a separate SoundCloud account for your Junto projects.
Q: Do I need to do this alone?
A: These can be group projects, certainly. You needn’t work by yourself, though that appears to be the most common approach by Junto members. (And there will be some projects in which collaboration is actively required.)
Q: What is a “junto”?
A: The word comes from the name of a society that Benjamin Franklin formed in Philadelphia during the early 1700s as “a structured forum of mutual improvement.”
Q: What is “electronic music”?
A: Anything you want it to be. Drones, beats, drones with beats, abstract, melodic, tuneful, discordant, phonographic, synthesized. Go for it.
Q: Does my track have to be “ambient”?
A: No, not by any means. That mode, broadly defined, will likely be a not uncommon approach for participants, but it won’t be the only one.
Q: Is there any restriction on length?
A: Not necessarily. It depends on the project. Some will stipulate length. Others won’t.
Q: Do I have to set my track to be downloadable?
A: You don’t have to, but it would be appreciated. Also, some assignments may involve remixing previous project entries, and if your track isn’t downloadable, it won’t be easily remix-able.
Q: Can I post more than one track for a project?
A: No, please. Just focus your efforts on one track. (That said, there may be occasional Junto projects for which you will be asked to do more than one track, but that will be part of a specific assignment.)
Q: How can I communicate with other Junto people off of Soundcloud?
There’s a lot of Junto activity on Twitter. There is also a discussion tab at the group’s Soundcloud page, though it has been underutilized since the site’s design put less emphasis on it. There is a forum here on Disquiet.com, too.
Q: Are those really the only questions?
A: So far.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Get in touch with Disquiet Junto founder Marc Weidenbaum, at firstname.lastname@example.org.