Month: March 2012

manhattan bridge train [disquiet0011-motoring]

The 11th Junto project in March 2012 required me to make an original field recording, and to then make something of it. It focused on rhythm. I captured audio of an N train (from inside the train) going over the Manhattan Bridge as well as sounds from the Canal Street and Atlantic/Pacific Street stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively.


The assignment allowed that “to [your recording] you can add whatever sounds you like, but the rhythm should be central and prominent in the finished track.” I added some drums and cymbals for drama, but did not bury the train in the kit.

Certain newer model R142 subway cars have propulsion mechanisms that emit tones as they accelerate and excite the steel rails with electrical current. Many people swear the trains sound out the first three notes of “Somewhere” from West Side Story. I caught the tones coming off a J Train leaving Canal Street and so couldn’t resist manipulating them to finish the 1st phrase of the song (“there’s a place for us…”). At that point, the phrase demanded to open the piece. The first three notes are as the train sings them. From those, I created the last two notes of the “Somewhere” phrase and a couple more notes to resolve to the root note. I have a terrible habit of ending phrases on roots; couldn’t break it here.

NYTimes story about the “Somewhere” subway sound.

My raw capture of the acceleration tones for this project.

The ringing synth-like sounds are the subway door chimes chopped, extended and pitch manipulated, and the general calliope is reworkings of the propulsion mechanism sounds that made up the “Somewhere” phrase. Vamping over the beats and noises with my cherry es335, Jolie, turned it into a “track.”

More details on the Disquiet Junto

Disquiet Daydream – SoundCloud Spoken remix [disquiet0010-reflect]

remix of the soundcloud podcast w/ seams and marc weidenbaum:
Community-team – Soundcloud-speaks-001-disquiet

backing track is from the portion of the show that included emma hendrix’s disquiet 0004 project:
Emmahendrix – Nearly-there-disquiet0004

i started by sampling every instance in the show of marc saying a number and everything flowed out from that. my intent was to turn him into a radio beat poet like joe frank (not that he already isn’t that cool, tho).

the track has 48 music and vocal samples, and bursts opens with all of them at once, for no reason. fwiw, i don’t think there’s a complete actual sentence from the podcast in the piece. in the end, it was more of me putting marc’s voice to my own thoughts.

“clearly i changed my mind with an extended experiment in four days.”
“i did not think beyond my own curatorial process.”
“20000 remixes changed my mind.”
“junto (or junto) changed my mind”
“midnight changed my mind.”

this disquiet junto (or junto) has been the most valuable musical left turn i’ve taken in a while (at least since i re-cut a track of mine in spanish a couple years ago). thank you to disquiet for this creative, collaborative and continuing adventure.

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


Dowsabel: One Dream To Another (remix of Flying Time)

Dowsabel (chris wells, Columbus, US) loves obsolete words, and he took his musical name from the Latin for sweet and beautiful. His music lives up to the promise in his name, and his remix of my remix of a collision of bird sounds and acoustic guitars provides exponential entertainment and purpose to my track (which is below his track notes).


This is a remix of the beautiful “flying time” posted by Westy Reflector for Disquiet0009-avian. I took it in some slightly different directions with reverb, distortion, reversals and playrate changes, and accentuated the subtle two-partedness that I heard in the original. It is recognizably the same piece (I think).

The original:
Thereflectors – Flying-time

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

flying time [disquiet0009-avian]

a thrush and an acoustic guitar. like a supercalafragalistic cartoon on your shoulder.

The source material for the 9th Junto project from March 2012 was provided from these two samples:

“Chord progression on mic’d acoustic guitar. A Major, c# minor, b minor, E Major.”

“Song thrush on a spring evening, 17th of march 2007 in a forest north of Cologne, Germany.”

More details on the Disquiet Junto