Disquiet Junto Project 0029: Count Zero

The Assignment: Make music from running water, inspired by William Gibson's novel Count Zero.

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 week’s project makes use of field recordings, a not uncommon source of sonic material in the Disquiet Junto series of weekly music projects. The particular idea this week originates in the following description at the start of chapter 17 in the 1986 novel Count Zero by William Gibson. I selected this version of the book’s cover, because it’s the paperback I own:

This idea of running water as music, in particular as “one of the oldest songs,” is highlighted in various ways in the chapter, which is titled “The Squirrel Wood,” and in the book as a whole. In the next paragraph of the chapter there’s an implied contrast to an artificial canopy in a forest, with its “mimetic approximations of leaves and branches.” More broadly, this is a novel in which there is an ongoing concern about possible Voudoun spirits running loose in cyberspace. The console jockeys make their money, and their names, reading signals: gleaning meaning from perceived noise.

I’d had the idea for some time of using running water in a Disquiet Junto project as the proposed source of a track, so my imagination was primed when I came across this notion in the novel when I recently reread it for the first time in many years. I was rereading Count Zero because of all Gibson’s novels, it lingers with me the most, in part because of its themes of corporate espionage, which I find fascinating, but also because this is the book of his that I found most difficult to pierce when I first read it. One interesting final note: This chapter holds special meaning in the broader novel, because it is the only chapter whose title is repeated. “The Squirrel Wood” is also the title of the book’s final chapter.

In any case, that’s all backdrop to this week’s project.

The assignment was made late in the day, California time, on Thursday, July 19, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, July 23, as the deadline. View a search return for all the entries as they are posted: disquiet0029-countzero.

Bonus: In advance of the project’s announcement, I tweeted some information about it from the twitter.com/djunto account, and William Gibson himself (aka twitter.com/greatdismal) retweeted it not once but twice:

Bonus Two: After the project was over, a friend informed me about this parallel passage from Norman Maclean’s novella A River Runs Through It:

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.

Below are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto). They appear below translated into five additional languages: Croatian, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Turkish, courtesy of Darko Macan, Allan Brugg, Naoyuki Sasanami, Norma Listman, and M. Emre Meydan, respectively.

Disquiet Junto Project 0029: Count Zero

This week’s project is inspired by an aside that occurs at the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s classic cyberpunk novel Count Zero, originally published in 1986. The chapter is titled “The Squirrel Wood.” It opens as follows:

“The plane had gone to ground near the sound of running water. Turner could hear it, turning in the g-web in his fever or sleep, water down stone, one of the oldest songs.”

This idea of water running down stone, of a gentle but insistent natural stream, being one of the “oldest songs” is explored further in the chapter in various subtle ways. The Disquiet Junto project this week is to explore that idea: that there is music in the natural environment. We’ll makes songs from running water.

The instructions are as follows:

Step 1: Locate and make a field recording of source material that involves running water. It can be a stream, as in the Gibson book, but it needn’t be natural. The sink, a toilet, a hose in the backyard — any such source material would be fine.

Step 2: Extract a segment of the recording. That segment will serve as the basis for your composition, as its foundation. It will provide both rhythmic and melodic material. You can either use one long piece of the recording, or you can create the foundation of the track by combining and looping one or more brief segments of your original field recording.

Step 3: Add elements and treatments to the foundation recording of running water. Do so with the intention of highlighting the water’s internal sense of rhythm and melody. Do not embellish so much that the foundation recording becomes unrecognizable.

Deadline: Monday, July 23, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Please keep your track to between 2 and 4 minutes.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, please 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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0029-countzero”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 posting the track please include this information:

The inspiration for this track came from the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s 1986 novel Count Zero.

More on the 29th Disquiet Junto project at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0029: Count Zero

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


. . . . .

Project Instructions in Croatian:

Disquiet Junto Projekt 0029: Count Zero (Grof Nula)

Ovotjedni projekt nadahnut je mjestom s početka 17. poglavlja klasičnog kiberpank romana Williama Gibsona “Count Zero” (“Grof Nula”), izvorno objavljenoga 1986. Poglavlje se zove “Å uma vjeverica”, a počinje ovako:

“Blizu mjesta gdje se zrakoplov prikrio žuborila je voda. Turner ju je čuo, obrćući se po svojoj g-mreži u groznici ili u snu: vodu na kamenju, jednu od najstarijih pjesama.”

Ta zamisao o vodi Å¡to teče preko kamenja, nenapadnom ali upornom prirodnom potoku kao jednoj od “najstarijih pjesama” kroz poglavlje se poslije razraÄ‘uje na različite suptilne načine. Ovotjedni Disquiet Junto projekt traži da istražite zamisao kako glazba postoji u naÅ¡emu okoliÅ¡u. Od vode Å¡to teče načinit ćemo pjesme.


  1. korak: PronaÄ‘ite i snimite zvučni zapis tekuće vode. To može biti potok kao u Gibsonovoj knjizi, ali ne mora čak ni biti prirodan. Sudoper, zahod, crijevo za polijevanje … bilo Å¡to od toga dobro će poslužiti za vaÅ¡ zvučni zapis.

  2. korak: Izvucite dio zapisa. Taj će vam dio poslužiti kao osnova kompozicije, kao njezin temelj. Dat će vam i ritmički i melodijski materijal. Kako biste dobili podlogu možete upotrijebiti jedan dug komad zapisa ili kombinaciju/petlju (loop) jednoga ili više kratkih komada izvornoga zvučnoga zapisa.

  3. korak: osnovnom zapisu tekuće vode dodajte elemente i obradu, ali učinite to tako da istaknete postojeći ritam i melodiju vode. Nemojte uljepšavajte toliko da osnovni zvučni zapis postane neprepoznatljiv.

Rok: Ponedjeljak, 23. srpnja/jula, minutu do ponoći po lokalnom vremenu.

Trajanje: Neka vam snimci traju između 2 i 4 minute.

Informacije: Kad stavljate svoj snimak na SoundCloud, molim vas dodajte i opis procesa planiranja, komponiranja i snimanja. Taj opis je ključan element komunikacijskog procesa koji je u srži Disquiet Junta.

Naslov/Tag: Kad stavljate svoj snimak na Disquiet Junto grupu na Soundcloud.com, molim vas da uključite “disquiet0029-countzero”u naslov snimka te u njegov tag.

Downloadiranje: Kao i uvijek, ne morate omogućiti download vašega snimka, ali mi je draže ako to učinite.

Linkanje: Kad stavljate konačni snimak, molim vas da dodate sljedeću obavijest:

The inspiration for this track came from the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s 1986 novel Count Zero./Nadahnuće za ovaj zapis bio je početak 17. poglavlja romana “Count Zero” Williama Gibsona iz 1986.

Više o 29. Disquiet Junto projektu na:

Disquiet Junto Project 0029: Count Zero

More details on the Disquiet Junto at/Više o Disquiet Juntu na:


. . . . .

Project Instructions in German:

Disquiet Junto Projekt 0029: Count Zero

Das dieswöchige Projekt ist von einer Bemerkung gleich zu Beginn von Kapitel 17 in William Gibsons klassischem Cyberpunk Roman Cout Zero (Erstveröffentlichung 1986) inspiriert. Das Kapitel ist “Der Eichhörnchenwald”überschrieben, und beginnt wie folgt:

“Das Flugzeug war in der Nähe von fließendem Wasser gelandet. Turner hörte es, als er sich im Schlaf oder im Fieber im g-Netz umdrehte, das Plätschern von Wasser auf Stein, eins der ältesten Lieder.”(translation from the German edition, Heyne Verlag)

Die Idee von Wasser, das einen Stein hinabfließt, von einem sanften, aber unaufhaltsamen Strom, als einem der “ältesten Lieder“ wird in dem Kapitel auf unterschiedliche Weise weiter erkundet. Das Disquiet Junto Projekt dieser Woche ist dafür da, diese Idee zu erforschen: dass Musik in der natürlichen Umgebung vorhanden ist. Wir werden Lieder aus fließendem Wasser machen.

Die Anweisungen sind wie folgt:

Schritt 1: Macht Quellmaterial ausfindig, das fließendes Wasser beinhaltet, und fertigt eine Feldaufnahme an. Das kann ein Bach sein, wie in Gibsons Buch, aber es muss nicht natürlichen Ursprungs sein. Das Waschbecken, eine Toilette, ein Schlauch im Hinterhof — all das ist in Ordnung.

Schritt 2: Nehmt einen Abschnitt der Aufnahme. Dieser Abschnitt wird als Basis eurer Komposition dienen, als ihr Fundament. Es wird sowohl rhythmisches als auch melodisches Material bereitstellen. Ihr könnt entweder ein langes Stück der Aufnahme verwenden, oder ihr könnt die Grundlage für den Track dadurch erschaffen, dass ihr ein oder mehrere kurze Segmente eurer ursprünglichen Feldaufnahme combiniert und looped.

Schritt 3: Fügt der zu Grunde liegenden Aufnahme des fließenden Wassers Elemente und Behandlungen hinzu. Habt dabei die Absicht, die innere Wahrnehmung des Wassers von Rhythmus und Melodie hervorzuheben. Umspielt es nicht so sehr, dass die grundlegende Aufnahme unkenntlich wird.

Abgabefrist: Montag, 23. Juli, um 23:59 Uhr, wo immer ihr seid.

Länge: Bitte haltet den Track zwischen 2 und 4 Minuten.

Information: Bitte fügt eurem Track, wenn ihr ihn auf Soundcloud hochladet, eine Beschreibung des Planungs-, Kompositions- und Aufnahmeprozesses hinzu. Diese Beschreibung ist essentieller Bestandteil des kommunikativen Austauschs, der Disquiet Junto eigen ist.

Titel/Tag: Wenn ihr euren Track der Disquiet Junto Gruppe auf Soundcloud.com hinzufügt, schließt bitte die Bezeichnung “disquiet0029-countzero”im Titel und als Tag mit ein.

Download: Wie immer, ihr müsst eure Tracks nicht zum Download freigeben, es wäre aber wünschenswert.

Verlinkung: Wenn ihr euren Track postet, fügt bitte die folgende Information hinzu:

[Die Inspiration für diesen Track stammt von dem Beginn von Kapitel 17 von William Gibsons Roman Count Zero von 1986.]

Mehr über das 29. Disquiet Junto Projekt unter:

Disquiet Junto Project 0029: Count Zero

Mehr zu Disquiet Junto unter:


. . . . .

Project Instructions in Japanese:

Disquiet Junto Project 0029: カウント・ゼロ








〆切:7月23日月曜日11:59pm あなたの居住地にかかわらず



タイトル/タグ:Disquiet Juntoグループに作品を投稿する際には“disquiet0029-countzero”をタグとしてタイトルに追加してください


リンク:投稿する際には以下の情報を追加してください The inspiration for this track came from the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s 1986 novel Count Zero.

More on the 29th Disquiet Junto project at: https://disquiet.com/2012/07/19/disquiet0029-countzero/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


. . . . .

Project Instructions in Spanish:

Disquiet Junto Proyecto 0029 Conde Cero

El proyecto de esta semana esta inspirado en el incidente que abre el capitulo 17 de la novela cyber punk de William Gibson Conde Cero, titulado “Madera de Ardilla”.

“El avión había aterrizado cerca del sonido agua corriendo. Turner la podía escuchar, el G-web se convirtio en su fiebre o sueño y el agua sobre las piedras, una de las canciones más antiguas”.

Escoje una fuente sonora para tu grabación, esta debe que involucrar agua. Como en la novela de Gibson puede ser un arroyo, pero tambien puedes usar otras fuentes como: una llave de agua, regadera, escusado o una manguera, no necesariamente deben ser fuentes naturales.

Escoge un segmento de la grabacion, este segmento te servirá como base para tu composición. Este sera tu material melodico y ritmico. Puedras usar una grabacion larga, o una base que combine y repita segmento mas cortos de tu grabacion original.

Adicionalmente deberás incorporar elementos y molificaciones (tratamientos) de tu grabacion original de agua en movimiento. Lo deberás hacer con la intecion de resaltar la escénica interna de ritmo y melodía que inspira el agua. No lo modifiques tanto que la grabacion original no sea irreconocible.

Fecha limite: Lunes 23 de Julio a las 11:59pm del lugar donde te encuentres.

Duración: Favor de mantener tu pieza de 2 a 4 minutos.

Información: Incluir una descripción de tu proceso de plantación, composición, y grabacion. Tu información es esencial para la counicacion en Disquiet Junto.

Titulo: Por favor incluye el termino “disquiet0029-countzero”en el titulo de tu track cuando lo subas al grupo Disquiet Junto en Soundcloud.com, también usalo como tu tag cuando lo quieras buscar.

Descarga: Es preferible que tu mezcla se pueda descargar, pero no es necesario ( es tu decisión).

Enlaces: Cuando subas tu track, por favor incluye la siguiente información:

The inspiration for this track came from the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s 1986 novel Count Zero.

More on the 29th Disquiet Junto project at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0029: Count Zero

Mas información en Disquiet Junto:


. . . . .

Project Instructions in Turkish:

Disquiet Junto Projesi 0029: Count Zero

Bu haftanın projesi, William Gibson’ın 1986 tarihli klasik cyberpunk romanı “Count Zero” dan esin aldı. Kitabın 17. bölümünün adı “Sincap Ormanı” ve ÅŸu ÅŸekilde baÅŸlıyor:

“Uçak akan su sesine yakın bir yere inmiÅŸti. Turner ateÅŸinin -ya da uykusunun- etkisi altında g-ağının içinde dönenirken duyabiliyordu sesi. TaÅŸtan aÅŸağı akan suydu bu, varolan en eski ÅŸarkılardan biriydi.” *

  • (“Sıfır Noktası” – çeviren: Özlem KurdoÄŸlu – Sarmal Yayınevi – Ä°stanbul, 1999)

Burada bahsedilen; suyun taşın üzerinden akarken çıkardığı yumuÅŸak ama ısrarcı sesin, bilinen en eski ÅŸarkılardan biri olduÄŸu fikrine kitabın ilerleyen kısımlarında da çeÅŸitli ÅŸekillerde deÄŸiniliyor. Bu haftaki Disquiet Junto projesi, bu fikri keÅŸfetmeye yönelik; yani doÄŸal ortamda müzik olduÄŸu fikrini. Akan suyu kullanarak müzik yapacağız.

Talimatlar ÅŸu ÅŸekilde:

1: Akan suyun olduÄŸu bir mekan belirleyip burada ses kaydı yapın. Bu, Gibson’ın romanındaki gibi bir akarsu olabilir, ama mutlaka doÄŸal bir ses olması gerekmiyor. Lavabo, tuvalet, bahçe hortumu gibi ses kaynakları da kullanabilirsiniz.

2: Yaptığınız kayıttan bir bölüm seçip ayırın. Bu bölüm, yapacağınız bestenin temeli olacak ve hem ritmik, hem de melodik yapıyı belirleyecek. Ä°ster kayıttan uzun bir parça alıp kullanın; ister kısa bölüm(ler) alıp bunları tekrarlayarak parçanızı oluÅŸturun.

3: Bu temelden yol çıkarak, parçanıza öÄŸeler ekleyin ve düzenlemeler yapın. Akan su sesinin ritmik ve melodik yapısına uygun olacak ÅŸekilde çalışın. Kaynak sesini tanınmaz/anlaşılmaz hale getirecek kadar çok müdahale etmeyin.

Son Teslim Tarihi: 23 temmuz pazartesi, 23:59 (bulunduÄŸunuz ülkenin saatine göre)

Uzunluk: Lütfen bestenizin uzunluÄŸunu 2-4 dakika arasında tutun.

Bilgi: Yaptığınız parçayı paylaşırken, lütfen bu parçanın planlama, besteleme ve kayıt süreciyle ilgili bilgi de verin. Bu açıklama, Disquiet Junto’ya içkin iletiÅŸim sürecinin önemli bir parçasıdır.

Ä°sim/Etiket: Parçanızı Soundcloud.com’daki Disquiet Junto grubuna eklerken, lütfen “disquiet0029-countzero” kelimesini hem parçanın isminde, hem de etiket (tag) olarak kullanın.

Download: Her zamanki gibi; parçanızın indirilebilir olması gerekmiyor, ama öyle olması tercih edilir.

Linkler: Yaptığınız parçayı paylaşırken, lütfen ÅŸu satırları ekleyin:

The inspiration for this track came from the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s 1986 novel Count Zero.

More on the 29th Disquiet Junto project at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0029: Count Zero

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


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