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.
Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:
This project was posted shortly after noon, California time, on Thursday, February 4, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 8, 2016.
These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):
Disquiet Junto Project 0214: Microtonal Errata The Assignment: Bring to the fore the distinction between two specific microtones.
Background: There’s a typo in the bible of microtones. The bible in question is Alain Danielou’s 1958 book Tableau Comparatif des Intervalles Musicaux. As reported recently by composer and critic Kyle Gann, “On the right-hand bottom corner of page 48, the interval listed as 569/512 should actually be 567/512.” We’re going to explore the sonic distinction between those two microtones.
Step 1: Choose a pitch and record three things: (a) a base pitch, (b) the mistaken microtone (569/512), and (c) the correct microtone (567/512). Here’s an example: Start with your base pitch (e.g., A440). To get the mistaken microtone, multiply the base pitch frequency by 567/512 (that is, raise the base pitch by one semitone plus 77.6 cents). To get the corrected microtone, multiply the base pitch by 569/512 (that is, one semitone plus 82.7 cents). For reference, here’s a handy conversion tool:
Step 2: Record a short piece of music employing the three tones (a, b, and c) from Step 1. Other tones are also welcome, certainly. The only request is that the emphasis in your piece should be on those three tones. The goal of the short piece should be to explore the distinction between the mistaken and correct microtones. Try this: Imagine someone reading about the errata in the Danielou book said, “What’s the big deal?” Your piece should, to the extent possible, answer that question in sound by shedding light on the gap between the two microtones.
Step 3: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.
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 was posted in the mid-afternoon, California time, on Thursday, February 4, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 8, 2016.
Length: The length is up to you, though between 1 minute and 2 minutes is recommended.
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 “disquiet0214-microtonalerrata.” Also use “disquiet0214-microtonalerrata” 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 214th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“The Assignment: Bring to the fore the distinction between two specific microtones”) at:
More on the Disquiet Junto at:
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Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
The image associated with this project is from Alain Danielou’s 1958 book Tableau Comparatif des Intervalles Musicaux, found via Kyle Gann. Major thanks to Ethan Hein (ethanhein.com) for helping word the project assignment.