Disquiet Junto Project 0073: Faulty Notation

The Assignment: Read a map of the San Andreas Fault as if it were a graphic notation score.


Each Thursday 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 in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

This week’s project was developed with Geoff Manaugh of BLDG BLOG as part of a course he taught in spring 2013 at Columbia University’s graduate school of architecture about the San Andreas Fault. Participants in this Junto project will interpret an individually assigned segment of a map of the fault as if it were a graphic notation score. The image up top is an example of such a map segment. Note: Do not base your piece on the above image; it is simply provided as an example. The project instructions appear below.

If this all goes according to plan, we may develop a free iOS app of the resulting music, in which users can touch the map to trigger the associated recording, and learn more about the San Andreas Fault, graphic notation, BLDG BLOG, the Disquiet Junto, and related topics.

The browser-based map-dispersal code was developed by Ken Mistove (kenzak.com). Additional design assistance from Boon Design (boondesign.com).

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, May 23, 2013, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, May 27, as the deadline.

Below are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto). This is the map legend referenced in the instructions:


Disquiet Junto Project 0073: Faulty Notation

This week’s project is about earthquakes. Each participant will receive a distinct section of a map of the San Andreas Fault. The section will be interpreted as a graphic notation score. The resulting music will, in the words of Geoff Manaugh of BLDG BLOG, “explore the sonic properties of the San Andreas Fault.”

There are 4 steps to this project:

Step 1: To be assigned a segment of the map, go to the following URL. You will be asked to enter your SoundCloud user name, and then to enter your email address. You will receive via that email address a file, approximately 1MB in size, containing your map segment:


Step 2: Study the map segment closely. Develop an approach by which you interpret the map segment as a graphic notation score. The goal is for you to “read”the image as if it were presented as a piece of notated music. Read the image from left to right. Pay particular attention to solid black lines, which represent fault lines. For additional guidance and inspiration, you may refer to the map legend at the following URL. The extent to which you take the legend into consideration is entirely up to you:

Disquiet Junto Project 0073: Faulty Notation

Step 3: Record an original piece of music based on Step 2. It should be between two and six minutes in length. You can use any instrumentation you choose, except the human voice. (Note: Do not use any source material to which you do not yourself outright possess the copyright. This is highly important, because we may look into developing a free iOS app of the resulting recordings.)

Step 4: When posting your track, 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.

Deadline: Monday, May 27, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

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

Title/Tag: Include the term “disquiet0073-faultynotation”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:

More on this 73rd Disquiet Junto project, which involves reading a map of the San Andreas Fault as if it were a graphic notation score, at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0073: Faulty Notation

This project was conducted as part of a course of study led by Geoff Manaugh (BLDG BLOG). More on his research at:


More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


One thought on “Disquiet Junto Project 0073: Faulty Notation

  1. Hi Marc – I’m having problems with the kenzak link – it’s not recognizing my soundcloud user name. Have you heard any other issues with this?

    I’m entering it as “colab” because that’s both in my soundcloud settings and in the soundcloud URL – but I get “Sorry, but that SoundCloud account can not be found.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *