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. • 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.

Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Ambient Hip-Hop Trade (MP3)

A new track by Patrick Ellis

Another lovely beat-and-haze piece by Patrick Ellis. Like the one written up here earlier this month, “Sheffield Park”bears the “ambient hip-hop”tag. It’s more hip-hop than ambient this time around, flipping the emphasis from the earlier track, what with its more prominent beat, and more varied sectioning (despite being shy of a mere four minutes, it could qualify as a mini-suite). There are distant church bells, and a swaggering rhythm, and a lush hovering spaciousness, as well as, toward the end, what appears to be a quote from the book The Unicorn Trade by science fiction legend Poul Anderson and his wife Karen Anderson: “They talked quietly, until at last Gus reminded them that even here they were not masters of time. Eternity, yes, but not time,”the last word echoing and fading into the instrumental foundation.

Track originally posted for free download at Ellis is based in Seattle, Washington.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0069: The 4 Elements

The Assignment: Make music from field recordings of earth, water, air, and fire.


Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on 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.

This assignment was made in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, April 25, 2013, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, April 29, as the deadline.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0069: The 4 Elements

This is a shared-sample project. Its theme is “The Four Elements.”The goal is to create a new piece of music by employing the following four source recordings, each of which is intended to represent one of the elements: earth, water, air, and fire. (Alternately, you can record your own source audio for any or all of the elements.) Your track should be be divided into four segments of roughly equal length, one for each element. Any two consecutive segments may overlap, but only briefly, up to three seconds. You can manipulate the source audio in any way you choose, but you cannot add any other source audio.





Deadline: Monday, April 29, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your track should have a duration of between two minutes and five minutes.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, 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: Include the term “disquiet0069-4elements”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Please consider employing a license that allows for attributed, commerce-free remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, be sure to include this information. Of course, edit/omit the source-audio text, should you decide to produce your own source recordings:

More on this 69th Disquiet Junto project, which involves creating a single piece of music from samples that represent each of the four elements, at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0069: The 4 Elements

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

All the source audio is from The earth sample is by ABouch, the water by aesqe, the wind by Bosk1, and the fire by suonho:





Image via

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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:

+ 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, 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 ( 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]

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Music for Drum Machine and Modular Synth (MP3)

A beat by A Scanner Darkly

At first, the beat is like a pack of Pick Up Stix that have been set loose in zero g and left to jitter and bounce around in a compact, three-dimensional space, the tiny emanations of their myriad chance collisions resulting in a constant pitter patter that hints at chaos but, in fact, reveals a logical system at work. Deeper material, more tonal than percussive, appears, but it seems more like an echo of the drum, a sonic shadow. It’s a sonic shadow. The beat is the main event. In time the rhythm congeals, gravity sets in, and the beat reduces to a singular enterprise. The track is “Since It Happened” by the Vancouver, Canada-based A Scanner Darkly.

Track originally posted for free download at A brief liner note mentions that the project was completed on two instruments, the drum machine MachineDrum and the modular synth BugBrand. More on the tools at hand at and

Update (2013.04.25): Subsequent to this post, the musician added more information to the track’s page about the music’s development, including this: “Feedback based patches tend to be stubborn beasts as different things all influence each other in a non linear way, so it was really just trying to steer it in the direction I wanted rather than me actually controlling it.”

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Tape to Tape (MP3)

A glimpse at a new Wixel release


Even were it not titled “Summer Chords,”the gossamer overload of this track by Wixel would summon up aural images of mid-year ease. It’s all gentle pulses loping like sodden sine waves beneath a lightly strummed guitar. The looping quality is inherently nostalgic, and not just for the individual listener’s memories. It also touches on a collective awareness of how the the mixed background haze and foreground guitar bring to mind some of the early collaborations of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. The song is a single from a release titled Revox Tapes by Wixel, about which he says the following on the website of the releasing record label:

With a little bit of luck my wife found me a dusty old Revox B77 tape recorder. Despite its rickety state, it was love a first sight. Getting it to play a tape was, to my surprise, quite a daunting task, let alone use it to record sounds. But after some loving and some serious cleaning, the record head started moving the magnetic particles of the tape again, sound was stuck onto that glorious piece of moving plastic film.

I started experimenting and recording, with the goal of composing songs especially for it. That ambition got killed rather abruptly when the B77 caught fire after an intense jamming/recording session. All I was left with was strips of sound, of which I was able to compile the some lovely results. Rather than burying it in my shelf of unfinished ideas, I thought a small cassette was a fitting salute to that wonderful machine, where music really became magic again.

The release is cassette-only (along with a download code), making this a contemporary recording both created and distributed on tape.

Track originally posted for free download at Wixel is Wim Maesschalck, who’s based in Brussels, Belgium. More from him at The label is Jordskred, more from which at; it’s based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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