New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Disquiet Junto F.A.Q.

Frequently asked questions about the communal music-making group

This was most recently updated on 2019.02.25. New and edited information is marked with a bold plus sign (+).

Q: What is the Disquiet Junto?
+ A: The Disquiet Junto is a group in which musicians respond to weekly, fast-turnaround assignments to compose, record, and share new music. The idea is to use constraints 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.

+ Q: How does the group work?
A: A project is announced each Thursday — usually around 10am, California time — and it is due the following Monday by 11:59pm (that’s 11:59pm wherever you happen to be). You can post your track anywhere. Most participants upload to Soundcloud. There’s also discussion at llllllll.co, and on a Junto Slack.

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 (or other platform) 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 (etc.) 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. We correspond on the Lines (llllllll.co) discussion board. There’s also a Junto Slack (email [email protected] for instructions on how to join).

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 [email protected]

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

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  • [email protected]

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