Disquiet Junto Project 0146: Swyping Silence

The Assignment: Make a short piece of music based on a typographic symbol for the word "silence."


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.

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, October 16, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, October 20, 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 0146: Swyping Silence
The Assignment: Make a short piece of music based on a typographic symbol for the word “silence.”

In this week’s project a symbol for the word “silence” will be probed for its sonic associations. The image is available at this URL:


As is evident in the image, this is the “Swype” gesture for the word “silence.” Swype is an alternate text-entry system in which a single stroke along the various keys that spell a word trigger the word’s appearance, in contrast with the traditional keyboarding method of typing with one keystroke after another. The resulting symbols for words can take on a certain familiarity and even a kind of enchantment as time passes and frequency of use increases. The symbol that results from the word “silence” has many characteristics, including bit not restricted to the sideways hourglass timer, the inherent asymmetry, and the mix of sharp angles and curves.

The steps for this week’s project are as follows:

Step 1: Consider the symbol that results from using the Swype technique to enter the word “silence” on a keyboard, as shown in image at this URL:


Step 2: Develop sonic associations with this symbol.

Step 3: Produce a short piece of music informed by those associations.

Step 4: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 5: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Length: Your finished work should be between one and three minutes long.

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 “disquiet0146-swypingsilence” 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 146th Disquiet Junto project — “Make a short piece of music based on a typographic symbol for the word ‘silence’” — at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0146: Swyping Silence

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