Disquiet Junto Project 0141: Graphic Steinberg

The Assignment: Interpret a New Yorker cover as a graphically notated score.


Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.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.

Tracks will be added to this setlist as the project proceeds:

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, September 11, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, September 15, 2014, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0141: Graphic Steinberg
Interpret a New Yorker cover as a graphically notated score.

The cover to The New Yorker issue dated September 15, 2014, features an illustration credited to Saul Steinberg, the late artist who was a frequent contributor to the magazine before his death in 1999 — and apparently after his death as well. We’ll make music from the cover as if it were a composition in the mode of graphic notation.

These are the steps:

Step 1: You will treat the provided image as if it were a musical score. The image can be found at this link:


Step 2: You can use any instrumentation you choose. The goal is for you to “read”the image as if it were presented as a piece of notated music. You might do this by assigning note values across the page horizontally, or by interpreting it holistically, or by running the image through a piece of software — or by any other systematic approach.

Step 3: Upload the track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow participants.

Deadline: Monday, September 15, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your finished work should be between one and five minutes in length.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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 “disquiet0141-graphicsteinberg” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 141st Disquiet Junto project — “Interpret a New Yorker cover as a graphically notated score” — at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0141: Graphic Steinberg

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Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:


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