Category Archives: tracks


[track] The Young Unicorns [disquiet0196-wholelottawhole]

PROCESS
In which I fire up my old-friend Casio CZ-1000, program a quasi new wave dance groove with Acid loops and sight read the notes in the photo. The CZ was set to a square wave with a slight detune and vibrato. Luckily, it goes 6-note polyphonic so it handled the 3-note chords fine. The 11-measure sequence in the photo is repeated as 8 measure sequences break it up into a couple verses, choruses and a bridge. The 11 vs 8 tension resulted in no two verses or choruses having the same melody line, which served to amplify the fun. Very meditative, too, to allow whole notes to fill spaces.

I had designs on recording the bass on the Casio, too, using the image’s staff as a bass clef. This created more mess than movement, though, so I left the photo to represent a treble clef staff only and built the piece around a right hand melody.

122 BPM
Key: C

PROJECT
Sight-read the whiteboard notation from a children’s music class.

Step 1: Read the music notation in the following image (note that the photograph was taken at a music class for elementary and preschool students).

The image is here:
goo.gl/2C1mqT

Step 2: Record a piece of music based on that notation.

Step 3: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, October 1, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, October 5, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be roughly one minute, though longer is certainly fine.

META
More on this 196th Disquiet Junto project (“Sight-read the whiteboard notation from a children’s music class”) at:
disquiet.com/2015/10/01/disquiet0196-wholelottawhole/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:
disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
disquiet.com/forums/


[track] split seconds [disquiet0194-clockplay]

PROCESS
I do not own a clock (or any time keeping device) that makes operational noise, so I used a CC-Attribution sample at freesound.org of 4 one-second clock ticks that looped perfectly without any cutting at 120 BPM. This juggled me a bit, since the 60 BPM clock ticks were playing in double-time to be in real-time at half-time to the track time.

The clock is layered a few times to build counter-rhythms and dynamics, to evince the double-timeness of its sampling. A very rough bass track came from a few 8 and 16 bar loops. The bed arose from an 800% stretch of my recent “chasing flight” (Thereflectors – Chasing-flight). Aiming for playful sweetness, I strummed chords over the result in two live passes and voila, here we are in the present.

In the end, I learned clocks can keep all sorts of time.

:^D

Clock Loop by Natalie Kirk (Esper Studio, Sydney, AUS)
freesound.org/people/OwlStorm/sounds/212181/

PROJECT
More on this 194th Disquiet Junto project (“Record the sound of a clock and make something playful and sweet out of it”) at:
disquiet.com/2015/09/17/disquiet0194-clockplay/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:
disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
disquiet.com/forums/

Image associated with this project by Brian Biggs, who drew it specifically for this project, and who provided the project’s timely creative nudge.
mrbiggs.com/
dancerobotdance.com/
@dance-robot-dance


[track] chasing flight

ambient.drone.guitar

CHAIN
Pigtronix Infinity Looper –> Small Sound / Big Sound Sparkle Motion –> SS/BS Mini F*ck –> Electro-Faustus EF107 Regurgitator (send/receive: tc electronic flashback –> Earthquaker Grand Orbiter) –> electro-harmonix SuperEgo (send/receive: EQD Arpanoid –> Diamond Tremolo) –> EQD Afterneath –> Strymon blueSky –> Line6 Fender Blackface emulator


[track] That Old Guitar

Country-fried me.
special lead guitar guest star: Jason Perkel (switchfactory.com | soundcloud.com/switch-factory | soundcloud.com/halfofsf)

My wife comes from the South Side of Chicago,
and when she first brought me back in ‘ninety four,
down in the basement of her childhood home
I found an old guitar.

She said “That was my great uncle Bill’s,
“I guess he left it to my dad.
“I remember after Bill lost his Kentucky farm,
that Gibson was all he had.”

“But he said ‘I’m not scared of a changing world
Or losing anything we are
‘Cos I wave hi to distant good times
every time I play that guitar.’ “

For eleven quiet years after Bill passed on,
that L-1, I guess, had waited for me
‘Cos it rang one brilliant chord before the bridge caved in
Just to let me hear what it could be

You got to draw lines
Back through time
To know who you really are
Every note Bill played
Rang again that day
When we picked up that old guitar

So it returned with us to New York.
In the hands of The ‘Moose returned to life.
And the sound that it made again
returned Bill to my angel wife

He said, “I’m not scared of a changing world
or losing anything we are.
I just wave hi to distant good times
every time I play that guitar.”

So I’m not scared of a changing world.
We’ve lost nothing that we are.
‘Cos I hear echoes of distant good times
every time I play that old guitar.


[track] Through The Looking Glass

This track grew out of a poem written in August.
Man, sometimes this world…
:^D

We’re surrounded by people
Who can’t think for themselves
They fear loneliness more than they feel hell
Then take comfort that they can’t even tell
Say goodbye to the world it’s just as well

We’ve gone through the looking glass
Nothing’s left up ahead we haven’t already passed
Now we’re so alone
We don’t need to turn our backs
We’ve gone through the looking glass

We’re surrounded by people
Who don’t learn for themselves
They buy into the bullshit they turn around and sell
Then take comfort in the lies they tell
Say goodbye to the world it’s just as well

We’ve gone through the looking glass

But you and me
come from a place beyond time
in the company of love
we live outside the lines

We’re surrounded by people
Who only live for themselves
They drink all the water but can’t dig a well
They say they make love but it’s just a shell
Say goodbye to the world it’s just as well


[track] sedimentronic figures [disquiet0190-missedconnections]

PROCESS
20 bars of Rupert Lally‘s “Sediment Layers

8 bars of Ahornberg‘s “Digital Frippertronics

Loads of flying, fluttery harmonics and shifting undertones as these loops cycled together. Rupert Lally’s track loop is 30% right and ahornberg’s is 30% left in the mix and they’re both blended (smeared?) together by a slight (27% wet) band-pass (1500Hz) resonance filter and a bit of room reverb. They’re both in related keys (G and D, it seemed) so their ensuing conversation took some pretty turns. Put my guitar down this week in favor of Propellerhead’s Figure app for iPad (the latest update’s “arpeggiator” has become a tiny addiction). I programmed 8 bar synth and bass loops in the key of G at 96bpm and played the percussion pad live as the track streamed along with the sources on my Acid timeline. Figure ran via Audiobus into Flux:FX’s “Multi-Verb” preset located in the app’s stock Ambient bank.

RIG
Propellerhead Figure: “Sonny” drum kit (4/4 kick, 6/4 snareclap, 12/4 hats, 10/4 toms), “Bassguitar” bass (5/4 rhythm, 7 scale steps), “Super Poly” synth (5/4 rhythm, 7 scale steps)
Noiise Flux:FX for iPad (ver 1.01): Ambience “Multi-Verb” preset
Audiobus for iPad (2.1.17), Sony Acid 7.0, Win 8.1

PROJECT
“Set two out-of-sync loops atop each other, and then add sonic glue”

More on this 190th Disquiet Junto project

More on the Disquiet Junto

Join the Disquiet Junto

Disquiet Junto general discussion


[track] c swells [disquiet0189-tonelayer]

PROCESS

Single notes in the key of C, staggered and stacked to move through different chords. “Attack” was eliminated using a combination of my trusted E-bow fed through an EHX POG2 with its attack setting jacked all the way up for max swell. Tape Delay, Phaser, Reverb added for space travel (or ocean travel as the case may be here).

RIG

Fabien (Peekamoose Custom Guitars M2), EHX POG2, Small Sound / Big Sound Sparkle Motion, tc electronic flashback delay, EQD Grand Orbiter, EQD Afterneath, Strymon blueSky, Line6 POD-XT (Vox AC-30 emulation), RECORDING DAW: Sony Acid 7.0 (Win 8.1), MASTERING DAW: Harrison Mixbus 2.5 (Mac OS 10.7.5)

PROJECT

Create a dense stack of attack-free tonal material from one audio source.

Step 1: Choose an instrument that can create extended tones.

Step 2: Record a short loop of a single held tone on that instrument. Use a volume pedal or other tool to eliminate the attack at the start of the tone.

Step 3: Create many more such loops, all with the same instrument, and layer them atop the original loop.

Step 4: Record a document of these layered loops lasting approximately 1 minute.

Step 5: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

————————————————
More on this 189th Disquiet Junto project (“Create a dense stack of attack-free tonal material from one audio source”) at:
disquiet.com/2015/08/13/disquiet0189-tonelayer/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:
disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
disquiet.com/forums/


[track] Elena’s Stars

Dusted off some twang for a story of beauty in sadness. Some days, whiskey over absinthe…

Elena lived on Avenue X,
next to a trestle
all her life.

She dreamed of distant places
and of jumping random trains
a thousand times.

She craved a sky that let her know she was home.
An endless sky that left the stars alone
to shine.
Beyond her life,
that sky showed her some way home.

Counting the trains
to and from Coney Island
every night,

searching in vain
for salvation, in a city
full of lies.

[ch.]

I’m still here, amidst the fallout of our life.
I’m still here, living with her dreams.

She found a sky that let her know she was home.
An endless sky that left the stars alone
to shine.
Beyond her life,
that sky showed her some way home.


[track] fly this town

alan watts reflected in a disco ball

there’s a rip in the galaxy
sounds like wind through a door
it’s headed for us full speed ahead
we’ve got nothing to lose anymore

so no more running from the past
running from the dark
searching through the void
chasing love

let’s fly this town tonight
dance away from these city lights
take our cues from distant satellites
let’s fly this town

over the horizon lies
a ring of endless light
made of the dreams we carried
through our coldest nights

there’s no more falling out of time
falling for the cons
calling out in vain
waiting on love

let’s fly this town tonight
dance away from these city lights
take our cues from distant satellites
let’s fly this town


Sunrise Highway (2015)

Rag top down. Flying past exit signs, through memories, to the end of the island.

Released 02 July 2015

Written, performed, programmed and produced by Westy Reflector.

Cover Photo: “She Rode East” (1994)


Sunrise Highway

take me back, to the end of the island
early ’94 in the dead of winter
before the hedge funds bought all the sand
before the century came to an end

are you waiting for me
standing on that point of land
where the atlantic meets the sound and
everything’s going according to plan

and we’re at the head of a table in a house full of windows
at the end of an island that only the sunrise knows

the northern lights from providence
bleed into the milky way
and the whole wide world
stays a safe distance away

we’ll meet under the lighthouse
embrace on top of the bluff
the light will erase the time between us
once again we’ll be the ones

at the head of a table in a house full of windows
at the end of an island that only the sunrise knows

so i’m in a 20 year old car
with a dream baby dream i drive
ever eastward ever eastward ever eastward
into the sunrise


The Seventh Word

I’m chasing this dream. I’ve got a few chords.
And I’m just riding on the F, back + forth,
Thinking one thought, since I got on.
I think that I’m the only one on this train who realizes what went wrong.

Jolie, I just missed falling in…
Jolie, I just missed falling in…
You sped off in that taxi
Before I said the seventh word
Now I’m afraid you only heard
“Jolie, I just missed falling in…”

She wasn’t looking for a cushion. She’s only got one life.
But she was searching for a softer landing and a peaceful flight.
So she went for a graceful exit before I gave her one that she don’t like.
Now I’m the only one still thinking about it on this endless ride.

When loose bricks fall on quiet sidewalks,
you can hear ’em crash from blocks away.
Without scaffolding they just keep raining down.
She’s still speeding away and I know she still feels lucky to this day.

‘cause you’re always missing the seventh word


night flight: le rêve de fabien [disquiet0181-instrumentaldream]

My latest guitar is named Fabien, after the pilot in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “Night Flight.” It has quickly become my fav instrument. I read him the passage below from the book last night and woke up to this track in my DAW. Seems Fabien dreamed me reading to him in French.

A Dick Dale-esque fast-picked drone over a sample of “the world’s largest wind tunnel” simulates propellers and everything’s capped off with some more samples of 1980s weather satellite telemetry. All samples are from a Bainbridge sound effects disc circa 1989. The beats are garage band.

“Night Flight” tells the story of a mail pilot lost over Patagonia and the ways tragedy and the relentless drone of modern life intersect and collide on the ground. In this track, one of my favorite novels meets my favorite guitar.

Fabien is a Peekamoose Custom M2 (http://peekamoose.com). He’s pictured being held by his luthier, Paul Schwartz, in the shop where he was forged.

————————————————-
NARRATION

“Fabien, quel est votre position?”
Fabien, what’s your location?
….

Sans avoir à lutter, il serrait les mains sur les commandes. Quelque chose se préparait qu’il ne comprenait pas. Il bandait ses muscles, telle une bête qui va sauter, mais il ne voyait rien qui ne fût calme. Oui, calme, mais chargé d’un étrange pouvoir. Puis tout s’est aiguisé. Ces arêtes, ces pics, tout devenait aigu : on les sentait pénétrer, comme des étraves, le vent dur. Et puis il lui sembla qu’elles viraient et dérivaient autour de lui, à la façon de navires géants qui s’installent pour le combat. Et puis il y eut, mêlée à l’air, une poussière : elle montait, flottant doucement, comme un voile, le long des neiges. Alors, pour chercher une issue en cas de retraite nécessaire, il se retourna et trembla : toute la Cordillère, en arrière, semblait fermenter.

“Je suis perdu.”

Instinctively he tightened his grasp on the controls. Something he did not understand was on its way and he tautened his muscles, like a beast about to spring. Yet, as far as the eye could see, all was at peace. Peaceful, yes, but tense with dark potency. Suddenly all grew sharp; peaks and ridges seemed keen-edged prows cutting athwart heavy head wind. Veering around him, they deployed like dreadnoughts taking their positions in a battle-line. Dusk began to mingle with the air, rising and hovering, a veil above the snow. Looking back to see if retreat might still be feasible, he shuddered; all the Cordillera behind him was in seething ferment.

“I’m lost.”

————————————
More on this 181st Disquiet Junto project (“Imagine your favorite instrument is dreaming while it sleeps — what does it sound like?”) at:
http://disquiet.com/2015/06/18/disquiet0181-instrumentaldream/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:
http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:
http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
http://disquiet.com/forums/


a child’s doll reflection [disquiet0180-matryoshkamusic]

PROCESS
A loose adventure in nested loops. There are a few drones (each 1 note) underneath respective two, three, four, five and six note loops. the main section consists of the two note and six note loop played together with some variation, looped six times. Everything else fades in and out.

Like memories.

I own a matryoshka as a result of a trip to Russia I took in 1985. In the course of that journey, I acted as a teenage cold war secret agent, carrying cultural and religious documents and artifacts behind the then-iron curtain. This track has nothing and everything to do with looking back on that adventure. As a bonus read, here’s how my trip as a “Spring Break Spy” began:
http://westyreflector.net/2013/01/customs-playboy/

So xclnt to be contributing to the junto again.

:^D

RIG
Fabien (a Peekamoose Custom M2 by http://peekamoose.com), EHX SuperEgo, Diamond Tremolo, EQD Grand Orbiter, EQD Afterneath, Strymon blueSky, Pigtronix Infinity Looper, Fender Blackface emulator (Line6 POD-XT), Sony Acid Pro 7, Windows 8

———————————————-
More on this 180th Disquiet Junto project — “Use the Russian nesting dolls as a model for a musical composition” — at:
http://disquiet.com/2015/06/11/disquiet0180-matryoshkamusic/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:
http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:
http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
http://disquiet.com/forums/


The Next Big Thing

We traveled the world together in the same dime store shoes
We had our ups and our downs but we never spoke of the blues
Then the sun started shining on you
And the rain held off until you were through
Running around leaving this life behind

The next thing we knew, you were the next big thing

You said success wouldn’t change you, it’d only open the door
For you to escape the ones who never wanted more
So you left for the city in spring
By winter you were crowned king
And we faded away behind all your new memories

The next thing we knew, you were the next big thing

Now you’re up with the stars
And we got all the time in the world
Sitting down here watching it from afar

Home is a place you can never go back when you change your point of view
And home is a place you always invent when the moment is right to be new
We get the feeling you’re gone
Lost to the great beyond
Farewell my friend
We’ll remember you

The next thing we knew, you were the next big thing


for whom the ice tolls [disquiet0157-icemusic2015]

PROJECT
Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it.

PROCESS
My 54th Junto contribution is my first stab at the ice challenge.
Dropped ice into a brandy sniffer.
Recorded into Samplr for iPad then sliced and diced with Samplr’s onboard effects and my guitar pedal board.
The ringing of the glass after the ice hit, pitched down a couple octaves and slowed, provided a distant church bell effect.
The drone bed was the same ringing granulated through an EHX Superego pedal and fed through Earthquaker Devices Afterneath and Strymon blueSky reverbs.
Added more reverb, as well as amplitude modulation in the DAW (Sony Acid Pro 7.0).

There are 12 “chimes” of the bell. Noon or midnight – it’s up to you to decide…

:^D

RIG
brandy sniffer, ice cubes (medium sized, automatic ice maker), Samplr for iPad, Earthquaker Devices “The Warden” compressor, tc electronic flashback delay, EHX Superego Synth engine (send/receive: EHX POG2 + EQD Arpanoid), EQD Afterneath delay/reverb, Strymon blueSky reverberator, Line6 POD-XT (tube pre-amp emulator setting), MOTU 828 mk2, Sony Acid Pro 7.0

META
More on this 157th Disquiet Junto project — “Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.”

More on the Disquiet Junto

Join the Disquiet Junto

Disquiet Junto general discussion


save the world (from ourselves)

sirens out my window
echo down the alleyway
explosions and fragmentation waves
made the city shift and shake

we saw it loud
we heard it clear
‘cos no one lives in isolation here

now we have to save the world again
so zero out time
because now is then
baby, take a look around you
save your requiems
we’re gonna have to save the world from ourselves again…

driverless cars running the lights
everywhere we are tonite

think it over
think it through
in this moment, who are you?

save your requiems
we’re gonna have to save the world
from ourselves again
and again…

12.1995; 02.2001; 08.12.01 12:25a
09.07.03 9:09a; 12.05.2014 1:22a; 12.08.2014 4:24p
12.10.2014 5:40p; 12.15.2014 11:01p


There Goes The Sky

I set out walking, just to find a friend,
Make a human connection in a world of pretend,
To share faith in the future, in the face of decay,
‘Cos when you can’t escape the night, every dawn is the end of days.

The walls get high,
The darkness amplifies,
(And) there goes the sky.

You can understand but it doesn’t mean you feel.
The hardest things to show are the easiest to conceal.
Actions can destroy more than words can heal.
God save us all when all the truths are revealed.

The walls get high.
The darkness amplifies.
(And) there goes the sky.


Space Walk [disquiet0152-comet67pcover]

PROJECT
Record your own cover version of the “song” sung/emitted by Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

PROCESS
The comet’s rhythmic oscillations took me to a droning arpeggiation space. With this “cover,” wasn’t replicating the comet so much as evoking its spirit.

—————————————————————-

More on this 152nd Disquiet Junto project — “Record your own cover version of the ‘song’ sung/emitted by the comet Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko”

Copyright Notice: Original Data Credit: ESA/Rosetta/RPC/RPC-MAG.
Sonification: TU Braunschweig/IGEP/Manuel Senfft, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

More on the Disquiet Junto

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Turnaround, Annie

she didn’t feel suspicious – or paranoid
she didn’t see the distance – into the void
she learned to play with all the memories – like toys
she said it made it easier to drown the noise

she worked for years – to create confusion
as she waited for life to reveal itself as an illusion
along the way she learned not to search for conclusions

as we drove the roads around my house
she wasn’t gonna stop until she broke down
all those angry hours

she said, “don’t tell me when to turn around…
“i’ll tell you when we turn around
“just keep driving towards the moon
“don’t you dare turn around

6am underneath the subway tracks
she said if that train was a plane I’d jump right on its back
then she rolled her eyes and taught me how to fade to black

as we drove the roads around my house
she wasn’t gonna stop until she broke down
all those angry hours

she said, “don’t tell me when to turn around…
“i’ll tell you when we turn around
“just keep driving towards the moon
“don’t you dare turn around