Each Thursday evening at the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com 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 to the Junto is open: just join and participate.
The 11th weekly assignment had been on my mind since early in the development of this series: to take an existing everyday sound and to make something of it. We’d explored that idea previously from various different approaches. The very first project involved an especially mundane source audio: ice cubes in a glass. The fifth, a personal favorite, required participants to add sounds to an unedited recorded document of real life. Many other projects employed source audio from the real world. This time, though, the source audio was intended to serve a very specific role: a rhythmic undergirding to the track. In one way, this was an unusual proposal, because by requiring a rhythm, it was perhaps the first project that suggested aesthetic context. Previous projects had left it up entirely to the participant whether or not there would be an inherent rhythm to their track. As I said at the time of its unfolding, if any Disquiet Junto project could be collected into a standalone album, I’d say this is the one.
The assignment was made late in the day on Thursday, March 15, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, March 19, as the deadline. View a search return for all the entries: disquiet0011-motoring. As of this writing, there are 42 tracks associated with the tag.
Here are the instructions that were presented to members of the Disquiet Junto:
Disquiet Junto Project 0011: Daily Rhythm Instructions: Deadline: Monday, March 19, at 11:59pm wherever you are. Plan: The eleventh Junto project requires you to make an original field recording, and to then make something of it. This project focuses on rhythm. The field recording should be of some rhythmic mechanical sound from everyday life: a dishwasher, a car’s turn signal, a hard drive, a bicycle, whatever you choose. That recording should serve as the main rhythmic element of your track. You can edit the recording, certainly, but it should remain recognizable; you should only edit it to whittle it down to a core rhythmic section. To it you can add whatever sounds you like, but the rhythm should be central and prominent in the finished track. Length: Please keep your piece to between two and five minutes in length. Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0011-motoring”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track. Download: As always, you don’t have to set your track for download, but it would be preferable. Linking: When you post your track, please include this information: More details on the Disquiet Junto at: http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/
The projects ranged widely in their source audio, including a door, car fan control, clothes dryer, potato slicer, multiple hard drives, and microwave beep, among many others. One highlight was a track built around a bicycle wheel, which included a video, shown up top. The track, posted at soundcloud.com/emremeydan, is by M. Emre Meydan, who has been providing the Turkish translations to the weekly projects.