Disquiet Junto 0470 Calendar View

The final Junto activity of the year is traditionally a time of editing together snippets from projects during the year.

I hope it's a dog


Disquiet Junto 0469 [Missing in Caption]

The Disquiet Junto project this week is to create "music that pushes the constraints of descriptive television captions."

It was composed with two 303 emulators, a 606, an 808 and a Oberheim emulation. 

The parts were edited to fit the length of the video, which shows a blackbird my son found on the driveway.

Can't wait to try


Disquiet Junto 0468 Mirror Rorrim

The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to "a new persona for yourself, and record a duet together."

I've taken the opportunity to remix my track for Disquiet 360, using an acid-style approach.

Disquiet Junto 0467 Toolbox Show & Tell

The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to "Share a tip for making music that you learned during the pandemic."

Looking back over my videos during that time and I remembered a clever website for generating MIDI.

Solfa Cipher Secrets takes text and encodes it as MIDI, which is a cool idea and one that appealed to me as a way to turn poetry into music.

In the song accompanying my video I've used poems to create the piano and trombone parts.

Charlie Valentine on everything

If you don’t know how to play any instruments, that’s fine. You can do it. Just listen to experimental music. Listen to Matmos. They’re making music out of plastic pill-bottle toys. Everything is everything.

My music taste

Boats in Cannaregio


Recently I visited Venice with Cities and Memory.

If 2020 were a key signature...


Disquiet Junto 0466 [ ] Sound Machine


The American comedian George Wallace made an astute observation this week on Twitter: “You never hear about sound machines from other cities. Miami really cornered the market on that shit.”

I give you Canberra Sound Machine.

It's a track that loops around, with fuzzy crests and some Modern features.

I’ve used the M-Tron synth a bit this year, which has a lot of flavour, and was looking for an opportunity to use the Pendulate synth, as well as Rolands 606 and 707 and 808 for kicks.

Disquiet Junto 0464 Blanket Song

The Disquiet Junto project this week involves covering a song, but smothering it and then removing the original track.

I chose a modern classic and improvised parts to make it my own.

Disquiet Junto 0463 Making the Gradient

The Junto project this week is to "Make a piece of music inspired by the concept of a gradient."

I've chosen to let the gradient make the music on my theremin, which I'd recently unpacked to set-up my instant Indian orchestra with the tabla machine.

Long Distance Dan

Happy to have contributed a bassline to the new Long Distance Dan album.

Moaner Lisa


Disquiet Junto 0462 Vade in Pace

The Disquiet Junto activity this week is to "write a short piece of music that gets slower and slower as it proceeds."

Come back

Disquiet Junto 0461 Goldilocks Zone

The Junto activity this week navigates a "sonic space between the hospitable and the inhospitable."

Disquiet Junto 0460 Creative Destruction

The Disquiet Junto activity this week is to "arrive at a complicated, tortured sound" and I used a recent track to torture.

I've run the bass, ukulele and kick drum through effects pedals and a Sherman Filterbank.

naviarhaiku354 – duskfall…

The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week prompted me to think of things that bump.


Disquiet Junto 0459 From a Distance

The Disquiet Junto this week asks for a composition to be heard from a distance.

My inspiration was the church bells I can hear on quiet Sunday mornings.

Disquiet Junto 0458 Phrase Shift

The Junto activity this week is detailed.

I wasn't sure how to approach it and then looked at my files and found a few tones.

They seemed kinda boring on their own, so I added some drums.

Simba plus

Disquiet Junto 0457 System Alert


The Disquiet Junto activity this week takes it's task from a competition to design sounds for the Haiku operating system.

I've chosen my upright electric, because it's the easiest thing for me to use and I think the dull sounds would be less intrusive than the chimes usually used for these things.

Disquiet Junto 0456 Line Up

The Disquiet Junto activity this week has introduced to the art of Agnes Martin and I've interpreted her painting Untitled 5 (1998).

I thought the three bands of colour could represent three chords, but as I riffed on ideas it expanded and I decided to make the seven strips into chords that shared root notes.

naviarhaiku350 – Flutteringly

The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week brought to mind a blue butterfly I recently observed.

As it flew around the forest, it made swift changes in direction.

So I've written a piece of music with a few changes.

I've also incorporated the poem by Masaoka Shiki, which has been transcribed as the clarinet part.

The synthesiser part is a transcription of a haiku I wrote about a butterfly.

Both the poems were encoded as music using Solfa Cipher Secrets.

The lead singer of a band

Disquiet Junto 0455 Inner Invertebrate

The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to

"Compose a piece of sound/music that summons up what a moment, or an instance, or a day in the life of a jellyfish is like to the jellyfish."

I tried to engage my son in a conversation about how to do the Junto this week. "You're overthinking it," he replied. "Jellyfish don't have brains." 

As we continued our bike ride, he did venture that Vapourwave or Japanese-style electronica from last decade might sound good.

That conversation gave me a couple of ideas, but I don't think either ended up sounding much like his idea.

Disquiet Junto 0454 Lsoo Vneg

The Disquiet assignment this week is to "encode the name of someone you love into a piece of music." 

When the email arrived, my mind went in two directions and the result incorporates both ideas.

The first impulse was to use the footage of my partner talking about Acacia Montana, as the common name includes my middle name.

That term for a kind of shrub comes from the Wemba-Wemba people of western Victoria and, early in our relationship, Jo explained its form and it seemed like an analogy for my diverse interests.

The second idea arrived when I googled about how to encode text into music and found Solfa Cipher Secrets.

Using that website, I created a couple of MIDI files for the synth that can be heard in the second part of the song.

naviarhaiku348 – whenever gazing

I picked up on the "gazing" aspect of the haiku shared by Naviar Records this week, rather than the pain.

Disquiet Junto 0453 Dial Up

The Disquiet Junto assignment this week is to "Imagine the technologically mediated First Contact through sound."

After my ideas became overwhelming, I opted to pick up my Yamaha Tenori-On and use a pulsing sound that I knew was available.

As I played with it, I got the idea that my simple noodling also represented a kind of first contact with the instrument -- since I'd forgotten much of how to use it.

Reflecting on reflections

Listening back on the track I published yesterday and surprised by the result.

Too much reverb!

Then I cycle through the usual responses, from "reverb always seems stronger after rendering the track" to "but wouldn't I have noticed that? I must've been in a hurry to finish."

And then I remember a lecture I missed decades ago.

The reason I think of that anthropology lesson is it's the example I turn to when reflecting on how brains filter room reflections.

Way back on that day I'd asked my girlfriend to use the Walkman I bought for recording interviews to collect audio from the lecture.

When I listened back there was so much reflected sound that I couldn't listen to the discussion.

It took so much concentration to listen to the lecturer that I gave up.

I expect that tape would now transport me to the exact room since it literally reflects the size of that location.

Now whenever I think of the ability of a human brain to filter sound, I think of that moment.

Everyday our ears deliver conversations in rooms without a thought for the reflected sound, which is around two-thirds of the noise we hear.

Yet it isn't until you try to listen to a recording that you realise the incredible real-time processing that our brains are undertaking in listening to someone speaking.

I suspect there's a similar process when I'm working on a song.

Before I render the recording, I've listened to it so many times that my brain is compensating for the reverb.

Those wonderful modelled room reflections from Ocean Way and Capital Chambers are being removed from my listening.

Then, the next day, I hear the song with refreshed ears and hear how heavy-handed I've been in adding those effects.

The lesson I've learned today is that I am in a hurry to finish and should give myself an extra day before publishing my songs.

Award shows


naviarhaiku347 – two voices that sound alike

The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week spoke a couple of things to me.
First, it's springtime and I'm seeing lots of wattles in blossom.

Second, the "two voices that sound alike" could be the instruments in this track.

Particularly the two synth lines, which are the same patch, but also how the bass and guitar are soloing in similar ways because I can't really do anything more.

My husband plays the trumpet

Disquiet Junto 0452 Let’s Scream

The Junto this asks we work with a scream and, since I didn't feel like screaming, I found a famous scream to include.

It's the "Mendoza!" yelled by McBain in The Simpsons, used in Iris2 as a synth patch.

When you're closing apps


naviarhaiku346 – pause pause pause

After noticing a similarity in the projects this week, I've reworked my Disquiet Junto track for the haiku shared by Naviar Records.

It uses alternate takes and layers up the guitar parts, running all the MIDI parts through an icy pad and keeping four guitar lines.

Noise musicians / sandwich enthusiasts / kinksters


Disquiet Junto 0451 Ursula’s Silences

The Disquiet Junto this week asks how this line by Ursula K. Le Guin might be applied to a musical composition: “For a word to be spoken, there must be silence. Before, and after.”

I've incorporated silences into the track through including pauses before different sections.

To do this I built up the scaffold of the song by playing the drums along to this song I've been enjoying recently.

Then I settled on a handful of notes on the bass, which led me to decided they were part of a Phrygian mode.

Today I added a guitar part to fill out the song and attempted a melody.

Disquiet Junto 0450 Texture Analysis

The Disquiet Junto activity this week involves "field recordings made at Carlo Bernasconi AG, a company that has been working in stone for over a century. The sounds range from machines to manual tools to spatial ambience."

These recordings were made by Tobias Reber and the project is a "collaboration with the 2020 Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 2 through 6 under the motto 'Tektonik'" -- which I used for a track title.

Participants are invited to "listen for aspects of the recordings that attract your ears" and  "create a piece of music combining elements from as few or as many as you chose".

My ears gravitate toward transients, and the tool sounds in particular were useful for creating percussion.

Most of the sounds I've used at their original pitch, but I did transpose one down for the kick sound by an octave and a half.

I looped a few sounds and added Ableton Live's Beatrepeat effect to a couple.

One of the sounds of distant machinery was also looped and I added a sidechained compressor linked to the kick, so it would be heard near the end of each bar.

To the percussive loops I've added some sounds of machinery, particularly where the pitch shifts, which gives a further sense movement in places.

Then I've added more of the tool recordings, as well as machinery.

The latter has been gated using Beatrepeat and I added a little distortion and delay to make that more dynamic.

Finally, I created busses for reverb and stereo-panning, as well as some more saturation.

The video shows copper smelting and comes from the Prelinger archive.

I searched for "mining" and thought this section looked like it might relate to the sounds heard.

This is my 233rd video response to a Disquiet Junto prompt and the full playlist can be found here.

Music I play for friends


Disquiet Junto 0449 Page Machine

The Disquiet Junto assignment this week is to "Read a page of text from a book as if it were a musical score."

I settled on page 18 from the introduction to Matsuo Basho's The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

The layout of the page appealed to me, as it looked like it might be a drum intro and it was 8 August -- so I thought I should use 808 samples.

My process was to tally the syllables, since the text was largely haiku, as well as capital letters and punctuation.

The syllables became high-hats, while the capitals denoted kick drum and the punctuation triggered sound effects from the M-Tron Pro VST.

Then I decided to add a riser to convey the interpretive text, as it kinda serves to raise the rest of the writing.

And, finally, I flicked back to the contents page and took that last entry's page number to be the tempo.

Disquiet Junto 0447 Listen Ahead

This week the Disquiet Junto asks "Imagine...what your world will be like six months from today."

The instructions prompted me to record Jo's song, which she'd asked to do after returning home from a solstice event."

When you google the lyrics

Disquiet Junto 0446 WWWLDD

The Disquiet Junto activity this week involves responding to World Listening Day.

It's prompted me to share a soundtrack I composed from field recordings for an exhibition by the Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists at the Leeton Museum & Gallery.

It was composed to be looped in the background and accompany the many photographs members have taken of the natural Riverina environment.

The material draws on a decade of field recordings, which have been layered to provide a rich sense of the landscape.

Seems an appropriate recording to share for World Listening Day.

My playlists when I leave them on shuffle

Disquiet Junto 0445 Aare Tribute

The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to read a map of the river Aare as a graphic score.

My immediate thought when looking at the map was that Bern looks a bit like Wagga.

Then I remembered a recording I'd made at the beach late last year.

So I've combined the video of Wagga Beach with my track for relaxing by the river.

When you walk away

Disquiet Junto 0444 Bot Ensemble

The Disquiet Jutno assignment this week is to "Make music as directed by the great twitter.com/InstrumentBot account."

As I looked over the Bot's tweets, I took in the repetition of terms and started to formulate an idea.

Language like "tiny explosions" and "metronome" led me to think about recording drums, while the metallic descriptions reminded me that I'd been meaning to record various things in town.


Disquiet Junto 0443 In Two Landcapes

For the Disquiet Junto this week, I've taken two different field recordings and combined them to make one track.

It was with a sense of deja vu too, as I'd considered doing this for Project 0436.

The video above uses the footage I shot of the "2 tracks" sign, which I thought would be a clever nod to the idea but ended up using galahs roosting instead.

Galahs are still a feature this week, as they can be heard returning to their treetops on an evening when I'd filmed a sunset for Naviar's haiku project 0331.

You can also hear my son amusing himself, as I asked him to keep an eye on my camera while it recorded the weathervane.

You can hear my bike brake near the end.

Me checking

Disquiet Junto 0442 One Sentence

The Disquiet Junto this weeks asks participants to compose a piece of music based on a mapped exploration of a sentence.

Around the time that direction arrived, I read a poem that uses musical imagery and decided that it might be considered a long sentence.

Today I had some time to record myself reading the poem and using Ableton Live's MIDI mapping function to compose the music.