Disquiet Junto: Greg or Ian at the Park

Disquiet Junto Project 0063: Gregorian-orian-ian

This week’s project involves the role of architectural spaces in the composition of music. It is a shared-sample project that takes a piece of Gregorian chant as its source material.

These are the steps:

Step 1: Download this OGG audio file that contains a recording of monks singing Gregorian chant at the Abbey of Sant’Antimo in Italy:

Step 2: Play back that recording loudly in a highly reverberant space and record it. Your best bet may be a bathroom.

Step 3: Create a new piece of music using the recording you just made as your primary source material. You cannot add any new source material. You can manipulate the audio recording as you please, but restrict yourself to effects that simulate echo, such as delay, reverb, and looping. You may also use the original OGG file, but only in addition to your own recording of it being played back in the reverberant space.

Background: For additional thinking on the role that architecture has played in the evolution of music, this 2010 talk by David Byrne is recommended:

Deadline: Monday, March 18, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your finished work should be between 1 and 4 minutes in length.

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: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0063-gregorianorianian” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Consider setting your track in a manner 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 63th Disquiet Junto project at:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

The source of this piece is a recording of monks singing Gregorian chant at the Abbey of Sant’Antimo in Italy:

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On Friday afternoon I considered cranking the monks and recording them reverberating in my bathroom but I didn't get to it before my kids returned from school.

So I thought the drains at the park might be interesting, putting my 3V sound system at one end of the storm water drain and my Rode NT4 stereo mic at the other.

The noise from the nearby rice processing facility added a nice low rumble and there were some birds chirping too, a bit of a fail in terms of ensuring fidelity to the sound source.

The results were okay but I wanted more of those resonances that really warp the frequencies out of proportion.

I returned to Waipukurau Park on Saturday to try resonating the monks on the metal slippery slide.

This slide has featured in a song I composed with the Park, as has the nearby metal fence of the Leeton Childcare Centre -- which sounds fantastic.

The 3V sound system was placed facing down on the top of the platform on the slide, with a contact mic was affixed halfway along one of the legs which support it.

The results showed more exaggerated frequencies but was a bit weak on its own.

In Ableton Live I put recordings from both locations together, finding them stretched for some reason. I added additional tracks, delayed a few seconds and then experimented with effects including phase, the vocal-doubling preset on a tape emulator and church-style reverbs, settling on a wooden one.