Disquiet Junto 0595 Filter Progression


The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to modulate a tone or field recording using only filter frequency and resonance.

Earlier today I was walking past the ricegrowers facility that seems to make dog food and remembered recording it for the Junto proposed by Australian Kate Carr, number 0218.

And earlier his week I was remembering Junto 0186, which used Morse code. 

For that I recall spell my name using the kick drum and I went for a similar idea here, but it's more of a high-hat part.

I was remembering Morse code his as it was a topic being presented to a school group visiting the Museum where I work.

Martin Amis on anxiety

Use any anxiety you have about your writing — or your life — as fuel. Ambition and anxiety: that’s the writer’s life.

naviarhaiku490 – The cold forest flaunts


When Naviar Records shared the haiku this week, I thought of the wind rushing between the trees in my front yard.

It's not really a forest but Australian trees don't really grow that way.

I don't know what a wood anemone looks like, since apparently they don't grow on my continent, but I thought it might sound like wind organs.

Disquiet Junto 0593 The Charm

The Disquiet Junto project this builds on previous weeks as we form trios.

I joined a couple of tracks using my Korg Volca FM synth driven with MIDI from Ableton Live.

Unfortunately my computer browsers are too old to access the forum where the Junto community gather, so I'll try to add these videos when I can and draw attention of the other musicians.

The track below also uses a 909-style drum machine in Live.

Disquiet Junto 0592 Better Than One


The Junto this week asks participants to join a trio.

And we also get to respond to more than one trio, so I recorded two tracks.


Korg volcas

Still playing with my Korg Volcas and happy with the bass sound from the Keys.

I've taken a couple of samples from the MIDI of an old pop song, then played with the drums to get them through the Percussion unit.

Disquiet Junto 0591 The Loneliest Number

Disquiet Junto Project this week is to "record the first third of a trio."

It's become an annual prompt and I've used different instruments, so as I looked around and pondered the Moog DFAM seemed a good choice.

I like that the tempo is so varied that it needs to be used as a textural sound more than an electronic drum track.

The patch uses the Make Noise CTRL to drive the clock via a sequencer going back and forth.

You can also hear the Subharmonicon in the distance on the righ channel, since I didn't think it was right for the DFAM to be lonely.

Ethan Hein on funk

"Funk works best when the musicians subsume their egos into the groove."

Disquiet Junto 0590 Concrète Roots

The Disquiet Junto asks participants to "Combine field recordings and feedback in the development of an original track."

Time was running out in more ways than one, but I wanted to use my Bastl Thyme unit although the deadline for the Junto had passed.

Today is Anzac Day, a public holiday that gave me opportunity to position a Rode NT4 microphone in doorway and record sounds from a couple of young families in my street.

Disquiet Junto 0589 Auto Play

The assignment is to "Automate something manual" and it arrived at the correct moment.

This week I've been playing in Ableton Live and trying to make something musical.

Today I made a drum loop and then recorded a bass part, before making a couple of other recordings using the M-Tron VST.

They sounded harmonically interesting but the playing was scattered since I'd used the computer keyboard and have almost zero keyboard skills, aside from touch-typing.

Anyway, I read the Junto prompt and decided to add arpeggiation to every track -- except the drums, which got an Automaton effect.

Then I went looking for a video in the public domain about automation and the result seems kinda cool.

Disquiet Junto 0588 Swell Time

The Junto this week asks for surf music.

My mind went to Valla Beach, where I wish I was holidaying.

Then I remembered a song that was prompted by a haiku about a beach and thought I should revisit it.

The Penny Effect

One of the best things about making video for other people is when I get to soundtrack the resulting production.

So it was with The Penny Effect, which was made about three years ago and has now been premiered at the local gallery.

It will now be a permanent exhibit and I like that my music will be playing for days.

Disquiet Junto 0587 Sour Mash

The Disquiet Junto assignment this week is to "Let something go out of tune."

Because I've been busy, I wanted to use an existing recording and my mind went to the washing line.

I recorded this extended squeak for Junto assignment number 356 and remembered it was dissonant but had forgotten how short my hair was back then!

To really get it out of tune I transposed it in Ableton Live, then recorded myself playing a bass part with a synth along with a drum loop.

For a bit more interest I added chance and delay to the drums, as well as an arpeggiator to the bass.

Organ Donor at Burning Seed

Burning Seed, the NSW Burning Man event, happened last weekend and I got a grant to build a collection of wind organs. 

Organ Donor was the name for the collection and came with a message in the program about donating organs to save lives.


Something about the handwriting on this radio appeals to me, but there's also that lovely blue mesh.

Disquiet Junto 0585 F9

When I saw the prompt to fastforward a piece, I thought it'd work best with a very slow track.

The slowest track I have is the 10bpm track from Junto 299, then I noticed a couple of beats at 83 (397) and 84 (429).

My track ended up at 90bpm.

There was a bit of pitch adjustment in Ableton Live, but I decided to push through with the idea.

Not sure what happened in the bit where the drums both drop out.

DIY Limiter


naviarhaiku479 – Summer night

The haiku shared by Naviar Records prompted me to layer the takes from a recent recording session.

Billy no

Disquiet Junto 0584 Generations

The Junto prompt this week stirred a lot of thought about music I liked when I was younger.

In the end I'd repurposed a piece of music from countless childhoods and brought to it an instrument that stirred a child-like wonder for me. 

I also reflected on sequenced and performed music.

My idea was to create a separate but complementary piece that ran independent, then I noticed afterwards how I'd adjusted the number of bars to suit the sequenced music from the clock.

I forgot 3-03 day

Vocal mixing


Disquiet Junto 0583 Wall to Wall

The Disquiet Junto assignment this week is to "Use a building as a filter."

It's kinda hot at home this weekend and I've a lot of work to do, so I wasn't sure I would have time to record a piece.

Then I remembered an earlier Junto that involved recording from an adjacent room, as well as another that imagined a doorbell.

While I was looking for those, I found a couple of Junto that involved another sort of muffled approach in wearing cotton gloves.

Anyway, it all sort of made sense at the time, so I made a remix from my tracks for Juntos 115, 174, 253 and 289.

Disquiet Junto 0582 X Techno

After seeing the Junto prompt, I went looking for a sample to manipulate and found a video of my youngest from our visit to Canberra in 2019. 

That trip featured in a couple of Juntos around then and I’ve used this material elsewhere. 

The title is a pun too, since Sunday suggests relaxed but also “son day” techno. 

I knew the percussive instrument could be pitched down to create a kick, which is the foundation of the genre. 

Going for a relaxed feel, I opted for a slower tempo and a bit of dub-style tape delay. 

The video was edited in Ableton Live along with the audio.

naviarhaiku476 – Birds in a bare tree

The Naviar prompt mentioned birds, so I took it as a cue to try another approach to the material used for the Junto this week.

Disquiet Junto 0581 Helsinki Downspout

At first I listened to the pipe and appreciated how the splash kinda swings against the drip. 

Then Soundcloud wanted a log-in, so I thought I'd look for a drain recording of my own. 

It was weird looking back to 2015 as this week I returned to the job I started then. 

I couldn't find drains, but I did find drips. 

Can't remember why I recorded various objects in the shower. 

So I've edited my drips to get an effect like what I remember liking in the Helsinski downspout.

It's called "Cheer up" because that's what we say to down pipes!

Disquiet Junto 0580 Evo Evol Evolve

The Disquiet Junto assignment is to "Record a piece of music that develops like an organism evolves." 

The so-called Horseshoe crab came to mind after I wondered what my son would pick. 

He described these as a poster child for not evolving. 

As I considered how that might sound, I remembered a sketch of a riff that had been sitting on my desktop for a few months.

So I opened the Live document, shifted the loops around a little to sit with the video from Archive.org and then put that exported version through Motion's comic effect.

A riff that didn't want to evolve as a soundtrack to a Horseshoe crab.

What I've learned from using the Cut-Up Technique

This week I gave a Studio Co!Lab Artist in the House talk on what I've learned using the Cut-Up Technique.

To begin I encouraged everyone to print a copy of Picasso's poem about noon, since he's known to have stated that artists steal and it feels right to honour this contemporary of Cut-ups.

My Cut-up experiences have been realised in lyrics, sampling and also a book that invites destruction.

I also mentioned the poetry reading that I gave at a book launch which performed a live remix.

We began cutting Picasso's poem into individual words while I explained how the imagery reminded me of the Riverina and introduced David Bowie's use of the technique.

The singer acknowledged his debt to Brion Gysin and echoed some of the magical attributes he promoted with a process pioneered earlier in the 20th Century by Tristan Tzara.

My recollection is Cut-ups were a significant development in the split between Surrealism and Dada, when Tzara created a "manifesto" using newspaper clippings.

At the time the Surrealists were writing manifestoes and took offence at this brute process for generating words.

However, the cut-ups have been seen to share in common the influence of Freud's ideas of dream analysis as a way of identifying cues from the unconscious.

Cut-up documents interrogate the text in a haphazard manner that reveals as much about the dynamics and relationships of the reader, while allowing anyone to be an author. 

In this way it shows a Dadaist antiestablishment attitude that can be seen as an attack on authorial intention.

Some might view the process as reassembling a document and the process can be viewed through a variety of philosophical positions, such as the magic and art roles.

When you begin creating a cut-up text there are decisions about the process that determine roles for chance or probability.

You might choose to draw a word from a hat, or you might assemble them from a visible pool of possible words.

My partner developed an exhibition that referenced William S. Burroughs' use of the Cut-up Technique in 2014 and that year introduced me to an alternate approach proposed by the Disquiet Junto.

While the process of preparing the pieces and then pasting them together has a meditative quality that suits gallery spaces that are open for more of a performance art aesthetic, the simplicity of the idea is ripe for technology.

It is interesting to see David Bowie returned to the idea as personal computing developed with the Verbasizer, which has been beautifully realised at this website.

The idea of cutting seems simple and it's worth remembering that many ideas about editing have developed since Tzara.

When you cut up a text the words are never entirely anonymous, even if the document become a palette for beige language.

Each discrete piece becomes a springboard for a chain of connotations, which is a process that has been called "unlimited semiosis" in semiotic theory.

These become potent symbols and through the popularisation by Gysin the cut-up practice came to be infused with ideas of magic that were researched by Genesis P-Orridge.

Burroughs undertook audio and film-based cut-ups that extended the ideas he identified in literary practice.

I explained an audio-based curse that P-Orridge detailed and how sampling harnesses a similar energy when it takes a small example from a larger whole.

Working with the landscape as a document to sample you find inspiration in selecting small symbolic examples to trigger memories of entire ecosystems.

Which l led into my discussion of my Soundscaping videos and exhibitions.

Using video as a medium for cut-ups led to the role of Arthur Lipsett's 21-87 in the development of Star Wars.

I pondered religious implications as well as broader philosophical questions of free will and determinism.

There were some questions towards the end, including some discussion of AI and machine-learning tools.

I talked about my collaborative poetry, where I fed lines about the environment into a website.

It offered results that were surprising in a way similar to cut-ups but overcame a key constraint.

The responses from AI saw angels, which was delightful and language that I never use.

So the AI experiment gave a nice counterpoint to the Cut-up Technique and Andrew, the moderator, decided that was the moment to end.

Motivation from Leslie Diuguid

Keep going. It’s one thing to try something new. It’s another thing to keep improving on that new thought.

Nine years of Naviar

Very happy to continue my collaborations with Naviar Records and see a few of my tracks from last year included with their latest compilation.

Disquiet Junto 0579 Memory Serves

This is a rerecording of the track ‘Hopped’ that I recorded last week. 

That piece was the second of three takes, so I went back and exported the third take to share.

In this version I take a different path to the F# chord progression from the song about being a tumbleweed and arrive sooner at the delay setting you can hear with it.

Connect Your


Disquiet Junto 0578 Rabbit Spirit Ally


The Disquiet Junto this week takes inspiration from the Chinese lunar year of the Rabbit.

My piece appreciates how this invasive species seem to quickly go from zero-to-one hundred, but I also wanted some moments of reverie for their productivity in reproducing.

Then again, I've never seen a rabbit copulating, so that might be over in seconds.

I've been releasing music

Disquiet Junto 0577 Make That Money Shaker

The Disquiet Junto prompt this week is to record with improvised percussion, like a shaker.

It brought to mind a line from a studio owner about leaving percussion lying around as a way to generate business.

Their reasoning was that everyone knows percussion improves recordings, but not everyone understood the skill of great percussionists so it'd end up creating time in the studio to create a satisfactory result.

It's a kind of shrewd understanding of human nature that makes me feel like consumers of music are pathetic and maybe I can't help buying stuff.

Anyway, I have an ample supply of percussion and indulged the Junto prompt by improvising with a matchbox.

I gave it two takes and then thought to record with some commercial percussion I had at hand.

Then I mixed the percussion with a guitar track that I recorded the day before yesterday using the gated effects.

It took a little while to export the video, so I ended up having a late night and working until 10pm.

Now it's morning and the Disquiet email has arrived with the instructions and I'm reminded to annotate my process and reflect.

One observation is how the matchbox recordings are lost in the mix, while the canned percussion (a Christmas gift from my sister) can still be heard.

It's funny how things change in mixdown, particularly mixes at the end of the day.

DJ Grand Moff

New Years Resolution


Disquiet Junto 0576 Casual Resolution

The Junto prompt this week felt like one of those moments when a significant other asks what you're thinking about it and your mind goes blank.

Does that happen to you?

As it happens I've been plugging in an effects chain that I like to use with guitar.

This seems to happen around this time every year and, when I go back over Junto projects, I can see I've used these effects at this time previously.

Some people relax over summer by putting together a jigsaw, I tighten bolts and move things between racks.

It's one of those cycles I can observe in my recordings, like switching between acoustic or electronic instruments or contact mics and synthesisers.

Anyway, usually I get an idea to change things and it inevitably stops working and I cannibalise bits during the year.

This year it stopped working very quickly because I tried a lot of things that didn't work.

I cursed myself a few times for breaking it before recording anything.

Then I realised the mixer was central to sound I wanted to hear, as well as which effects pedals were essential,

So now I've just recorded a short jam -- which starts to work best after a minute or so.

My resolution is to keep the gated guitar effects rig running all year, even if I end up putting synthesisers and contact mics through it.