Disquiet Junto 0539 Control Breath

Since the Junto started being published before bedtime on Thursday, there's been Disquiet in my dreams.

This week the assignment is to "Let your slow breathing guide a piece of music" and my process involved a tale worthy of Dickens.

The Ghost of Juntos Past reminded me of project number 0219, where I'd remixed intimate breaths shared with my partner.

The Ghost of Juntos Present gave me opportunities to record today.

When I awoke I saw the gear I'd been playing yesterday, which was patched with the SE-02 take CV/gate from the TB-03.

My partner agreed to let me record her breath while I pleasured her and I thought it'd be fun to listen on repeat while I created the musical parts.

The TR-09 kept wanting to play a programmed riff, rather than the simple MIDI part to counter the TR-08 and the delay on the TR-06.

At the last minute I decided to play the laptop keyboard through the SE-02.

The Ghost of Juntos Future will likely arrive when I use the stems from the three takes for a remix.

Disquiet Junto 0538 Guided Decompression

The Disquiet Junto direction is "...to guide someone from a place of intense stress to something more sedate."

When the instructions arrived, I was packing ahead of driving 1000km to return from a holiday on the coast.

It felt as though I had to recover, so I drafted my ideas on Sunday and recorded them today (Monday).

naviarhaiku432 – Spring blossoms fading

The haiku shared by Naviar Records arrived as I was playing with my Roland Boutique TB-03 and TR-06, so the theme of spring growing old seemed to resonate like these recreations of older equipment.

I heard


Disquiet Junto 0537 Penitent Honk

The Disquiet Junto project this week asks participants to: "Think about what a car horn would sound like if it were apologizing for the driver’s actions."

I like the idea one might give a cheers-like gesture to toast a fellow road user, as a way of apologising for something.

So I created a simple melody using wine glasses.

Boutique freak

I'm late to the Boutique series of Roland's products, but have been fascinated.

The Boutique range always seemed like a reaction to the Aira series not being enough of a recreation of the classics.

Then one commentator I heard on Youtube recently explained that it required negotiating the company ethos of innovation. 

Did the Roland circuit-modelling framework provide a way for the company to look backward while moving forward?

The consumer demand for Roland classics seems a direct result of the massive influence they’ve had in popular culture.

So, in a world where Roland heritage is being raided by many competitors, it’s interesting to see the balance between outdated and new possibilities when a Boutique iteration is released.

I developed my ABS (Acquisition of Boutique Synths) after buying a TR-06 drum machine, which caught my interest for the Autechre vibe and built-in effects.

In contrast, the TR-08 that arrived secondhand soon after seemed of offer less functionality than the original drum machine.

Synths weren’t initially appealing to me, but I tried the SH-01A and loved the Chemical Brothers sound.

As I started looking around and thinking about another, I became curious why the Juno synth has had two Boutique iterations: JU-06 and JU-06A.

It’s not uncommon for products to be refreshed within short timeframes, but it seems interesting that a recreation was relaunched rather than a new firmware.

It has a switch to move between Juno-60 and -106 sounds, with the former having a wonderfully gritty low-bitrate sound that is beautifully underwhelming at recreating brass instruments.

No wonder the Juno makes me think of Zelda soundtracks.

Anyway, maybe I don’t understand building synths but it does appear that Roland are 100% behind the “limited edition” wording in the Boutique marketing.

I hope they’ll look at the ridiculous prices being published alongside TR-09s and release a new version with built-in EQ sweep effects.

Another aspect that attracted my eye is the design.

When you put a bunch of Boutiques together, have a look at the Roland logo.

As a sometime graphic designer who works with corporate style guides, it seems curious how the placement and size of the logo varies.

Then, while you’re hooking up those Boutiques that you’ve assembled, have a look at how to access a basic function like assigning MIDI channel input.

There are a different series of buttons to press, depending on the Boutique module.

While some might protest that the original hardware mightn’t have had MIDI, it’s surprising how much this aspect of the architecture varies.

It’s like each Boutique has their own character, which is the sort of thing a parent says.

When the parent is named Roland, I hope they’ll start sleeping around and create more Boutiques.

The collaboration with Studio Electronics that gave birth to the SE-02 offered the only analog Boutique, so who knows what IVF treatment could provide for Roland fanboys like me.

I was stoked to see someone had developed a mock-up of a Boutique modelled on the TR-707 (with a switch for 727 sounds!) and hope that Roland will announce this product. 

Disquiet Junto 0535 Jigsaw Disjunction

The Disquiet Junto prompt this week gave me an idea to use the cut-up technique on the national anthem.

Since Marc has started scheduling the project details to appear online ahead of the email, I've spent more time pondering how to respond to the Junto activity.

Last night, when I read the Disquiet post, I started reworking a popular Queen song and then thought better of it.

In previous Juntos I've referenced the Cut-up technique and re-written the Australian national anthem, so it interested me to combine the two.

(Also, it provided a process I could represent in the video visually -- although I've another idea to process 'Happy Birthday' that I might try over the weekend.)

My oldest sings in the choir at school, so I knew he'd provide the material.

My partner joked that I might get arrested for butchering the national anthem and it's a contentious song for me anyway, since the second verse has been at odds with Australia's offshore detention policies this century.

I think it was William S. Burroughs who thought the Cut-up technique revealed hidden meanings in text, and it seems to me the Australian national anthem has language which seems to infer the white Australia policies of earlier eras.

The result is unmusical and I tried singing the new arrangement to the existing melody, which improved it but seemed at odds with the Junto directions this week.