Woven Audiobiography

The Junto this week caught a bizarre moment in my life:
The steps for this week’s project are as follows:

Step A: Choose a number from 1 through 6. You can roll a die or use an online number generator, or come to a decision on your own.

Step B: Write a 100-word text beginning with one of the following phrases, depending on the number you selected. Where there are brackets fill them in with the appropriate information.

“I was born in [ ] and I like …”
“My name is [ ] and I was thinking …”
“This morning I had a sense that …”
“Try as I might, the same thing …”
“The last book I read was and …”
“On a Sunday morning I usually …”
Step C: Write a 90-word text beginning with the same phrase.

Step D: Write an 80-word text beginning with the same phrase.

Step E: Record yourself reading the three texts as three separate tracks. Record each at the same pace. Speak slowly and take an extended pause after any period.

Step F: Layer the three tracks into one track. They should all begin at the same point and the first few words should, more or less, overlap to the point of being indistinguishable.

Step G: Take a couple passed through audio, lightly balancing relative volume levels to emphasize key phrases or, for that matter, to enhance the low-key cacophony.

Step H: If you desire to, weave in one tonal element, though not so loud as to overpower the speaking.

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

Length: Your track’s length will be determined by the longest of your three recordings.

Background: This week’s project originated as part of the Oulipo Sound Workshop that was included in the Subtle Channels series of events held in San Francisco earlier this month (November 2013). The three-hour workshop provided an opportunity to explore the role that Oulipo literary constraints play in the restricted rules of the weekly Disquiet Junto projects. There were four projects that day, including a listening exercise, a word-based one based similar to last week’s Junto project, and a subtractive one along the lines of the 7th Disquiet Junto project from back in February 2012. The fourth was a simpler version of this week’s Junto.

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 “disquiet0098-wovenaudiobio” in the title of your track, and as a tag 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 98th Disquiet Junto project, in which three original spoken texts are combined into one track, at:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

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On Saturday morning I wrote my pieces for the Junto:
This morning I had a sense that I should've slept longer. It was still dark but the rumbling in my stomach suggested it was the right time for me to awaken. So I got up and had some diluted apple cider vinegar, which has become a favourite drink and I'm told is good for my health. Then I returned to bed with my laptop and began visiting the usual sites, news and social media. There was a mix of outrage at the government and some mirth.

This morning I had a sense that it was going to be a good day. In a large part because it's Saturday and I've had a busy week, flying to Sydney for a meeting early on and returning to multiple deadlines for a theatre show and an upcoming exhibition. A catalogue for the latter is currently in the back of my mind but it'll have to wait until Monday -- which is when I'll be bumping in the theatre show anyway. Should be another busy week but that can be a good thing.

This morning I had a sense that I wasn't alone. My daughter had snuck into my bed at some point in the night, which isn't unusual. She seems to endure nightmares frequently. I'd had a dream myself. It involved discovering someone burgling my home and when I called the police I got an answering machine message, which isn't all that uncommon as the local police station is often unattended. The really dramatic part that had awoken me was that the burglar had confronted me. When he realised the police weren't coming, he'd turned away and I saw a second face on the back of his head.

It's funny, in hindsight, because there was a strange kinda foresight in the text. I've written about the weird dreams on my ShowcaseJase blog.

When recording the pieces I took the opportunity to try different microphones:
  1. I used an Audio Technica AT2020 for the 80-word piece. It sounded a bit dull and I added the most reverb to it. 
  2. A Rode NT1 recorded the 90-word piece. I think it has a metalic-sorta edge.
  3. A Shure SM7 captured the 100-word piece, it's great on male voices and you can hear the difference in proximity as it was closer to my mouth.
When mixing I panned the second recording to the left a bit and third went a bit to the right with some widening with the EQ. The first seems more legible with the reverb. Delay was added to the third and longest part, as well as some resonator. The echo effect at the end seemed right for the dramatic ending but might be pushing the constraints of the Junto this week.