Disquiet Junto Project 0500: Humming to Your Selves

The Assignment: Play a tune by yourself and as if by two people whom you invent.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, August 2, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 500: Humming to Your Selves
The Assignment: Play a tune by yourself and as if by two people whom you invent.

It was Kamen Nedev of Madrid, Spain, who suggested via Twitter that after all this time we do a proper Disquiet Junto project inspired by the late poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935).

Step 1: Create two alternate identities, people other than yourself. Each of these two people should be musicians, and they should be strikingly different from you and from each other.

Step 2: For each of the two people you invented in Step 1, fill in their background. Think about where are they from, what are their interests, what sort of music do they make?

Step 3: Record a piece of music in which a tune of your choosing is played three times in a row. The first time it is played as you might play. The second time it is played by the first of the two personalities you developed in the previous two steps. The third time it is played by the second of those two personalities.

Additional Background: This week’s project is inspired by the work of Fernando Pessoa. You don’t need to know much about him to participate, thought it’s highly recommended that in the future you learn more about his writing and his legacy. A key thing to understand about Pessoa is his concept of the “heteronym.” Pessoa wrote from numerous points of view, and for each he developed a unique persona. These were, as Richard Zenith writes in his new biography of Pessoa, more than pseudonyms. These weren’t merely alternate names under which a person published work. They were alternate names under which Pessoa published work that was unique to each of those names, because they weren’t merely names. They were individual identities that inhabited his imagination. There is much that is remarkable about the work and life of Fernando Pessoa, not least of which is that his family name translates into English, from his native Portuguese, as the word “person.”

Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego) was the inspiration for Disquiet.com when I launched the website in 1996, and the name in turn lent itself to the Junto when I proposed the first project during the first week of January 2012. The 10th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto will occur this coming January 2022. The word Junto was borrowed from Benjamin Franklin’s Junto society, which he formed in 1727 for “mutual self-improvement,” an aspiration carried on by our Junto. Perhaps in six years we can celebrate the tricentennial of Franklin’s Junto.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0500” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0500” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Note: Please post one track per weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, August 2, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you (to all three of you).

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0500” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to 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. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 500th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Humming to Your Selves (The Assignment: Play a tune by yourself and as if by two people whom you invent) — at: https://disquiet.com/0500/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0500-humming-to-your-selves/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by aesthetics of crisis, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:



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