Disquiet Junto Project 0019: Graphic Alley

The Assignment: Treat a photo of an alley as a graphic notation score.


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.

This assignment was made in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, May 10, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, May 14, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list:

Disquiet Junto Project 0019: Graphic Alley

Deadline: Monday, May 14, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

This project explores the concept of graphic notation. You will treat the provided photograph as if it were a musical score. The image can be found at this link:


You can use any instrumentation you choose. The goal is for you to “read” the image as if it were presented as a piece of notated music. You might do this by assigning note values across the page horizontally, or by interpreting it holistically, or by running the image through a piece of software — or by any other systematic approach.

Background: The photo is a vertical shot of an alley, looking up from below, taken by the photographer Yojiro Imasaka, who is from Japan and lives in New York City.

Length: Please keep the length of your piece to between two and four minutes.

Information: Please along with your track include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0019-rojiura”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:

This track treats a photo by Yojiro Imasaka as its score. More on Imasaka at http://yojiroimasaka.com.

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


One thought on “Disquiet Junto Project 0019: Graphic Alley

  1. Four Long Years has its story to tell, and I particularly enjoy the graphically-rendered musical scores of the alley. Initially, I found myself asking whether or not the appearance of sound can effortlessly convey the tale of Imasaka’s image. I had pondered: if the architecture of the alley looked different — and that is, if it was long and spacious enough to propagate the gothic, church organ sound – I would have paid attention to the ‘tension’ between the image and the sound.

    As I began to listen to the sound carefully time and again, however, my familiar notion and picture of “rojiura” came to be uncovered. It was smelly, dark and empty back alleys and laneways with some remnants of drunken people, which are easily found in Japan’s urban landscape today that were holding me back from seeing the alley as Imasaka presents.

    In a nutshell, Four Long Years has become an enabler not only to acknowledge my mental faculty of rojiura, but to re-imagine the hybrid space and create new sonic soundscape there.

    This is just the beginning of my journey into a diverse collection of electronic, ambient and experimental music. I hope to learn more from you, Marc! Thanks for sharing everything everyone.

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