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Disquiet Junto Project 0080: Interior Metronome

The Project: Create music with a metronome.


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 evening, California time, on Thursday, July 11, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, July 15, 2013, as the deadline.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0080: Interior Metronome

This project explores the interior life of that ubiquitous timekeeper, the metronome. The project requires access to an analog metronome and a contact microphone. The instructions are as follows:

Step 1: Set your metronome at 120bpm and record it for at least 10 consecutive seconds with a contact microphone.

Step 2: Slow down that recording to a pace that you find welcoming, useful for musical exploration.

Step 3: Augment the recording that resulted from Step 2 so that the difference between the impact of the beat and the space between beats is considerably less distinct. Focus on things like the echo of the beat and the interior sound of the mechanism.

Step 4: Make an original piece of music in which you add additional sonic elements to a loop of the recording that resulted from Step 3, in order to draw out its melodic, rhythmic, and microsonic content. You can add up to three additional sound sources, and you can alter the source material as you wish, but the sound of the metronome should always be steady and present.

Deadline: Monday, July 15, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

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

Further Background: This project is being done in coordination with the artist Paolo Salvagione, who this previous weekend, on Saturday, July 6, in and near Regensburg, Germany, debuted works that focus on the influence of Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, who in 1815 perfected the metronome as we know it. This project is part of Salvagione’s effort, over the next two years, to have Mälzel recognized for his influence on the 200th anniversary of his lasting accomplishment.

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 “disquiet0080-interiormetronome”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track. Also use the tags “Walhalla”and “Salvagione”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 80th Disquiet Junto project, in which the internal mechanism of a metronome is explored in for its musical content, at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0080: Interior Metronome

More on Paolo Salvagione’s art at:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

And these are the project instructions in German, translation courtesy of Tobias Reber:

Disquiet Junto Projekt 0080: Inneres Metronom

In diesem Projekt erkunden wir das Innenleben jenes allgegenwärtigen Zeitwächters, dem Metronom. Für das Projekt benötigst du ein analoges Metronom und ein Kontaktmikrofon. Die Anweisungen lauten wie folgt:

  1. Schritt: Stelle dein Metronom auf 120bpm und mach mit dem Kontaktmikrofon eine mindestens 10 Sekunden lange Aufnahme.

  2. Verlangsame diese Aufnahme auf ein Tempo das dir gefällt und das du als geeignet für ein musikalisches Erkunden erachtest.

  3. Verändere die verlangsamte Aufnahme so dass der unterschied zwischen den Schlägen selbst und dem Klang zwischen den Schlägen weniger deutlich wird. Richte deinen Fokus auf Aspekte wie das Echo der Schläge und den Klang der Metronom-Mechanik.

  4. Kreiere ein eigenes Musikstück, in dem du weitere musikalische Elemente zu einem Loop deiner transformierten Metronom-Aufnahme hinzufügst und ihren melodischen, rhythmischen und mikro-klanglichen Gehalt herausarbeitest.

Deadline: Montag, 15. Juli, 2013 um 23.59 Uhr deiner Zeit.

Dauer: Dein Stück sollte zwischen zwei und fünf Minuten lang sein.

Hintergrundinformationen: Dieses Projekt wird in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Künstler Paolo Salvagione durchgeführt. Salvagione zeigt seit dem 6. Juli in und um Regensburg (Deutschland) neue Arbeiten über den Einfluss von Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, der im Jahr 1815 das Metronom in seiner heutigen Form perfektioniert hat. Das Projekt ist Teil von Salvagione’s Bestreben, Mälzel während der nächsten zwei Jahren zu mehr Anerkennung für den andauernden Einfluss seiner Errungenschaft zu verhelfen.

Information: Bitte Beschreibe deinen Arbeitsprozess wenn du dein Stück auf SoundCloud postest. Diese Beschreibung ist ein integraler Bestandteil des kommunikativen Prozesses in der Disquiet Junto.

Titel/Tags: Bitte füge deinem Stück-Titel auf SoundCloud die Beschreibung “disquiet0080-interiormetronome” bei und verwende diese Information zusammen mit “Walhalla” und “Salvagione” auch als Tag für dein Stück.

Download: Bitte ziehe für die Veröffentlichung deines Tracks eine Lizenz in Erwägung, die attribuiertes, nicht-kommerzielles Remixen zulässt (z.B. eine Creative Commons-Lizenz, die das nicht-kommerzielle Teilen mit Attribution erlaubt).

Links: Füge deinem Track bitte die folgenden Informationen bei wenn du ihn postest:

Mehr zu diesem 80. Disquiet Junto-Projekt, in dem der innere Mechanismus eines Metronoms auf sein musikalisches Potential erkundet wird:

Disquiet Junto Project 0080: Interior Metronome

Mehr über Paolo Salvagiones Werke zu Mälzel:

Mehr Informationen über die Disquiet Junto:

Image adopted from an original design by Brian Scott of Boon Design (, developed for Salvagione’s work.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website 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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