For the love of God


Disquiet Junto 0574 Audio Journal 2022

The Disquiet Junto project is to "Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments."

You can see there are five one-second snippets from each month this year.

I’ve been prompted by the Junto to compile these videos since 2015 and it’s an engaging way to look over one’s output.

This year I’m surprised to see how much synthesisers were used and that led to a few performances, as well as the snippet from my living room live set.

The video contains a second from a Junto project with RPLKTR and ends with a second from a video recorded by Andrew Glassop for Orana Arts.

Along the way there are also collaborations with my partner Jo and son Oscar, as well as various art-based projects like the Rescue of Riverina Birds exhibition and development of an installation that will be at Burning Seed in 2023.

Thanks to the Disquiet community for inspiration and encouragement.

I hope it's a synth!

Disquiet Junto 0572 Rhythm Kit


The Disquiet Junto assignment is to "Make a beat that someone else will add to." 

Now that I think about it, those drums were also used for the Junto activity based on that Aphex software.

When I get rich


naviarhaiku466 – Open road…

After driving the length of New South Wales, I felt thoroughly experienced and ready to respond to the haiku shared by Naviar Records.

Why you don't see crocodiles in the orchestra


Disquiet Junto 0571 Child’s Play

The Junto this week is child's play: "Make a piece of music based on, or inspired by, a nursery rhyme."

My piece is an interpretation of a song that my mother-out-law sang to my firstborn.

'How I love you moon' was a popular refrain and I've shifted it to fit my playing on the handpan.

Cracks DAW

naviarhaiku464 – from the mist

naviarhaiku464 – from the mist
Thought I'd try composing with my Moog gear for the Naviar Records haiku prompt this week. 

You, having just recorded

Disquiet Junto 0569 Think Thank

The Disquiet Junto project this week is to "Make music inspired by something or someone you’re thankful for."

I think this has become something of an annual feature, as I seem to remember previous Thanksgiving Day-themed projects.

And I'm fairly certain that for those I thanked my partner, Jo.

This week I'm using the Zoia Empress pedal, which has been getting a lot of use.

The other day as I was jamming on this chord progression, my partner walked in to say she thought the pedal was one of my best purchases because she liked the sounds and that I was playing my guitar more often.

So I'm grateful for Jo's support and encouragement.

Disquiet Junto 0568 Slumber Mill


You can see that I tried to use a bunch of things.

First I tried to program the chord into my Subharmonicon and then added a nightmarish quality with a drum machine circuit bent by Diabolical Devices, as well as my Atomosynth Mochika running through a bass synth pedal.

Then I attempted to play the chord on my Organelle through a variety of patches.

The title came from a weird dream I had last night, which involved trying to leave an unhappy musical therapy session and finding it was being held in a sprawling share house populated with hip younger people.

They don't know


naviarhaiku462 – Icarus

The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week resonated with me after I read the comments from author Kimberly A. Horning:

"I began writing haiku about four years ago. I try to write daily, giving myself Sundays & holidays off. ‘Ku is a kind of discipline for me—much like a daily walk or yoga practice. Haiku quite simply saved my life.”

In 2017 I set myself a challenge to write a haiku everyday and it's a practice that I've mostly maintained since then.

However, when I learned that many of my poems were better described as senryu, I shifted my style and started a new blog to collect those pieces this year.

A couple of times in previous years I've collected poems as rensaku-style pieces and shared those as a response to Naviar prompts.

Last year I offered one of these pieces to an anthology of poetry written during the pandemic and the book launch was held last night.

As part of that event I decided to spice up my reading by using the Cut-up technique and set it to music.

You can see that my partner assisted me by pulling lines from out of a hat.

Horning's aim "try to write honestly about my struggles with depression" led me to think I should record a reading of my piece as a response to the prompt shared by Naviar this week.

Disquiet Junto 0567 Three Meters

The Junto assignment this week is to "Make music in 5/8, 6/8, and 7/8 time signatures."

It took me a little while to transcribe a chord progression that I've been jamming on with a ukulele, then I plugged in a drum beat and a bass line.

To give it shape, I slip into 4/4 and then back to the original loops.

Not entirely sure I have the time signatures correct, as I was trying to use an arpeggiator to set one part, but I like the result for now.

Bassling at Navigate Arts

The inFREQUENCY tour played in Tanja last weekend and here's a pic from my set, taken by Scott Baker (Dron Skot) and he also designed the projections. 

The song idea in my mind

Disquiet Junto 0566 Outdoor Furniture Music

The Junto prompt this week is to "Imagine the ur-ambient Erik Satie musique d’ameublement concept en plein air."

It sent my mind back to the recordings made while on a residency in Wyangala.

In particular I wanted to use the Pied Butcher Bird's song and I've taken a cue from the melody early in the piece, before the singing starts properly after the fifth minute.

My instrumentation is a wineglass preset in the M-Tron library with Valhalla's Supermassive for ambience.

Complete list


Disquiet Junto 0565 Musical Folly

The Disquiet Junto prompt this week is to "Consider how the idea of a folly might be transposed, so to speak, to music."

In my more cynical moments I wonder if all of my musical activities are folly.

It sometimes feels as though I collect a lot of instruments and gear, then do little with it.

So I took the prompt this week as an opportunity to use my most recent purchases, the Zoia Empress pedal and the Organelle -- the latter I hadn't used the latter as an effect.

Disquiet Junto 0564 Octave Lept

The Junto assignment this week is to "Work an octave leap — or more than one — into a piece of music."

I've been wrapping my head and hands around an Organelle this week, so I decided to see what emerged when I started recording.

This was my second take and I edited the piece, since it's really just a riff.

That's enough reverb


Disquiet Junto 0563 Digital Magical Realism

This week the Disquiet Junto assignment asks "What does this imaginary genre sound like?"

I had a few thoughts about Digital Magical Realism, then thought I'd sleep on it.

When I awoke, I looked at my guitar pedals and pondered the digits being manipulated within their chassis.

I liked the idea of taking the piece from my digits on the bass, through the pedals and into something magical while the realism of a single-take kept it anchored in a performance.

However, I'd forgotten the challenge of hum and was also disappointed that I couldn't get a Valhalla Shimmer-like effect using the Superego.

Nor could I get a voice-like tone from the Talking Machine.

It was good to play the bass again though, although I excised a couple of loops around a minute and a half because I was fiddling around.

Brian Eno on his own music

...I have to think of other ways of hearing my music in ways as though I hadn’t made it.

May the music


Sound engineering is ancient

There's an interesting discussion of acoustics in this article about the Lincoln Center's redevelopment:

Sound engineering is ancient. Certain walls in the Hagia Sophia are angled to generate what’s called a “slap echo,” a fluttery ta-ta-ta-ta that in ancient times was referred to as “angels’ wings.” If you stand at the base of Chichén Itzá, the Mayan ruins in the Yucatán, and clap, what you hear sounds uncannily similar to the call of a quetzal bird. If you stand under the head of the dragon painted on the ceiling of Honjido Hall, in the Toshogu Shrine, in Nikko, Japan, built more than four hundred years ago, and hit together two pieces of wood, the sound echoes throughout the temple, producing an effect called “the crying dragon.” People have been channelling, amplifying, and manipulating sound for a good long time. But, as a formal science, acoustical engineering is relatively new.

I haven't thought about the role of reverb for a while, but I did write this piece back in 2019.

Disquiet Junto 0562 Sheep Music

The Disquiet Junto project this week asks for a recording to help someone fall asleep.

My mind ran through a few possibilities, before remembering I'd been meaning to record the lullabies my partner sang to our children.

We recorded a few of them, but I choose two as the last was more difficult to de-ess. 

You don't need a de-esser

Disquiet Junto 0561 Samplelicker

This is one of those examples of pushing-back against the Junto instructions. 

I really love the prompts offered to this community, but it gets filtered through my own curmudgeon-like process.

I woke early this morning and wanted to do something brainless, so I put a rhythmic loop into the Samplebrain to see what would happen.

The drums in the Target position were recorded for a previous Junto and I exported a loop with video, since I mostly publish to Youtube at present. The audio and video were put together and exported from Ableton Live.

What you see starts with the loop in sync but, as I adjusted the mix in Samplebrain, it slips out of time and I’ve tried to represent visually something approximating the messy effects. I’m using Apple’s Motion software.

The blocks came from recent field recordings, since I concluded long ago that Freesound was too much effort. 

I have recordings of raindrops in a shed, as well as a variety of birdsongs from my residency at The Corridor Project last month.

Five two-second snippets were loaded into Samplebrain and I experimented with the ticks next to each filename, as well as the sliders on the panel.

What you hear is mostly a single take, although one channel seemed to abruptly halt and I put an earlier snippet in to fill the space near the end.

In Ableton Live I added some limiting and compression to smooth it out. Finally, you hear a reverb decay to close the piece.

Disquiet Junto 0560 Sonic Disambiguation

The Disquiet Junto assignment is to "Help the Wikimedia Foundation develop a sonic logo."

I've made mine from a hydrophone recording in the Lachlan River.

I’d hoped to record the platypus that I saw earlier in the weekend, but the water released from the dam had changed the conditions.

Anyway, you can hear a reverb tail using Valhalla’s Shimmer in my short piece.

Disquiet Junto 0559 Yes Exit

The Disquiet Junto prompt this week is to "record your own entrance tone and exit tone for conference calls."

I'm sharing a couple of chords that were recorded while on a residency at The Corridor Project in Wyangala. 

I've added a little delay after trying to gate the noise of the fridge humming in the background.

Thinking of background, dunno who made the piece on the wall but it's woven from newspaper.

Disquiet Junto 0556 Gabber Ambient

The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to make a track that could be construed as "gabba ambient."

I had an idea to use the gabba preset in my Yamaha RMX, thinking to record it with local ambience. 

Then I remembered today is Play Music On Your Porch Day.

So I decided to play gabba on my porch.

Art installation for Burning Seed

Recently I got a grant from Burning Seed that will allow me to make a large-scale installation of wind organs.

Mail package


I got this wonderful-sounding box in the post.

The music in my earphones

Disquiet Junto 0553 Break That Cycle


The Disquiet Junto assignment this week is to "Record in a steady tempo but break it on occasion."

I've reworked an older track, taking the parts recorded on guitars and playing them through my Rolands.

You can also see the sound-activated visuals that I've been working with this week, ahead of inFREQUENCY.

Disquiet Junto 0552 The Radio in My Life

The Disquiet Junto this week asks "Record a piece of music that reproduces or otherwise suggests the sympathetic (i.e., non-intrusive) commingling of radio and everyday sound."

I've been listening to the classical radio station this year.

It started when I fatigued of hearing news headlines while driving to work.

One day I got frustrated with the repetitions of grabbed snippets, switched over to an instrumental and felt muscles relax across my brow.

When the Junto arrived I looked at the lightening sky and decided to use whatever was being broadcast after I got to Mark Taylor ovals.

Then I added subtle reverb and more birdsong.

That is a very nice looking CPU

Disquiet Junto 0551 The Bends

The Disquiet Junto assignment is to "Get less strict about something you’re strict about."

I decided to try an idea to randomly assemble lines of lyrics.

As part of my haiku-writing habit, I've collected five-syllable lines.

For this piece I printed them, then cut them out to pull from a box.

Bad Gear for birds

I love Florian Pilz' Bad Gear videos

So much that I've started making bad memes!

Disquiet Junto 0550 Abrupt Probability

The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to "Devise a situation... that depicts randomness visually" and then to "Create an original piece of music that is an interpretation."

At least that's what I've taken from it, as I need to work in video due my own creative constraint established when I abandoned Soundcloud.

My situation depicts randomness as a lava lamp and involves using the random functions on the drum and bass machines to create an original piece of music.

I made a break in their rhythms each time the lava snapped, aside from an abrupt and random break early on.

No crowdsurfing

Disquiet Junto 0549 Sidelines

The Disquiet Junto assignment this week is to "think less about using stereo as a means to give a sense of a physical space to a recording, and more about using stereo as a compositional tool."

I toyed with a few ideas but playing drums interested me most.

My intention was to dramatically pan across the stereo field, then I re-read the prompt and realised it needed composition.

Playing around with two takes, I found it interesting to listen to their interplay.

So I layered them, then panned them to either side.

During the mixing, I found that reverb massaged them together but sorta blurred their edges.

I guess it's surprising that I took two stereo recordings towards being mono, then made them sound closer to being stereo.

First sample to be used


naviarhaiku443 – just before sunrise

The haiku shared by Naviar Records prompted me to look for the footage I shot at Valla Beach earlier this year.

Then I looked through my folder of unfinished music and found the germ for this track.

I considered how "the quiet mystery of dawn" might sit among the noisy synths and tried to find a space for it.

It's surprising how every crashing waves seems to coincide with something audible, even though the composition was largely created without looking at the video.

However, I did try to have the sun rise into frame during a quieter moment.

Mixing is tough

Disquiet Junto 0548 Drone Vox

The Junto project this week is to "Make a drone using just your voice."

I feel as though I've done similar projects before, but arrived at the idea I might create a vocal bed for a song that I might sing later.

So I tried to sing an accompaniment for that song.

I recorded four takes, but the camera battery ran out of charge during the last.

Then I panned them and added a little reverb, but decided to keep it raw.

Although the growling part early on unsettles me, there's a bit in the second half that I don't mind

Disquiet Junto 0547 Genre Melee

The Junto assignment this week is to "Combine two seemingly different genres."

I had this kinda ragtime-sounding preset from the Hainbach soundbank for the M-Tron, then thought to try and find a thick dubstep-sorta bass.

My son assures me the genre is called Ragwave, so I found some surf footage to add to it.

Never going through his computer

naviarhaiku441 – Microbiota

Naviar Records shared one of my senryu this week.

I had an idea to create a track with loops of differing lengths, then ended up improvising a melody as a single take.

The video comes from footage I shot at Griffith Regional Art Gallery as the dioramas sorta suited the idea of microbiota.

On Thin Ice is an arts-documentary collaboration between journalist and author Ginger Gorman, photographers Hilary Wardhaugh and Martin Ollman, sculptor Tom Buckland, and printmaker Jess Higgins that tells the stories of seven people who have been living with or recovering from addiction to crystal methamphetamine.

Noise artists

Disquiet Junto 0546 Code Notes

The Disquiet Junto project this week is "to compose music that includes coded information."

It brought to mind the Solfa Cipher, which converts text to MIDI.

I've entered into it a few journal entries and then set those as clarinet, organ and bass.

The drums I recorded last year, but I like the butterfly shirt as a symbol of transformation.

The title 'Backstairs' was offered by Google as a synonym for 'clandestine' but isn't one with which I'm familiar.

Disquiet Junto 0545 Unself-Awareness

When I mentioned to Marc that I'd taken note of the constructive criticism offered by the Junto last week, I think I also wrote that I'd incorporated the ideas into a new track.

So I'm only cheating a little bit by offering this new song for the Junto activity this week, as it follows the directions by choosing "feedback, and think about how you might apply it to your own music."

Which specific feedback?

See the comments quoted here.

While I rushed my Junto track last week, this time I spent a while trying to get something sorta lyrical.

The melody reminded me of the song from a blackbird during spring.

My partner isn't so keen on blackbirds, but I was pleased to see one has returned to our backyard in recent weeks.

Hope to hear him singing through the early hours when the weather eventually begins to warm again.

Spring mornings
blackbird sings
demanding sex


Disquiet Junto 0544 Feedback Loop (Revisions)

This morning I suggested to Marc that it might be interesting to hear the tracks from the last Junto after participants had incorporated the suggestions from the community.

He agreed, although acknowledged the it couldn't be the next Junto project since it required prior engagement (and I think it's good the way the projects are open for anyone to join in).

I've gone back and reworked my track based on the following suggestions:

Apanmusic wrote:

"Really enjoyed the sounds at the very end. Perhaps that could be the basis of a mellow mid section?"

RPLKTR wrote:

"At 2:20 you’re fiddling with the drums and from then on the most interesting things happen in the track. This could start sooner, and then a comeback to the initial structure for a finale would make this track a winner. Now it disintegrates which isn’t entirely satisfying." wrote:

"The pad in the first half bothers me a bit for some reason (I think I intuitively want something smoother in its place.

Fakeg3nius wrote:

"I would introduce some variation on the drum/percussion."

In response I've changed the mix a bit and: 

  • put Beatrepeat on the drums;
  • brought forward the second pad;
  • started the arpeggiated synth from around 2.20, when it went into triplets, and;
  • repeated the chorus part from earlier as a finale.


Disquiet Junto 0544 Feedback Loop

The Junto assignment this week is to "Share music-in-progress for input from others."

I had this riff based on loops of varying lengths and quickly arranged it and ran it through the synths I have already plugged in.

Do the loops fall out of time noticeably?

Does it sustain interest?

The feedback has been positive, although I found the more critical comments most useful.

This track was kinda rushed to share and I think I would've worked on an actual melody for the fourth synth, rather than relying on the arpeggiator.

It was interesting to learn that's where the track became interesting for one commentator, who also so suggested it "disintegrates" toward the end.

I might bring the chorus-style chord progression back for more of a pop-style repeat to conclude, if I revisit this track.

Neutron bomb

Sometimes I use Izotope's Neutron and, when I find they list 808s under synth bass, it makes me wonder if I'm doing kick drums wrong.

Jazz musician explaining a chord


naviarhaiku439 – Tall trees gently wave

The line about the spring breeze in the haiku shared by Naviar Records suited the song I was working on.