“How to calculate an improvised earthquake [disquiet0073-faultynotation]”
After receiving my part of the map, I divided it into 12 segments from left to right for 30 seconds each. I also divided it horizontally into 3 rows for 3 instruments.
Then I made up a new color based diagram legend, each color representing a specific feeling, meaning:
blue: wet, water
pink: kind, sweet
My first idea was to completely improvise the track, with my daughter playing the piano. Unfortunately she did not feel like it very much. So I had to change my plan into a partly improvised, partly calculated piece.
The first row I played according to the color scheme with my electrical guitar through some pedals (Delay, Freeze, Phazer, Envelope follower). I just recorded it and kept the first take.
For the second row I decided to follow the map more closely. I created 5 very short sequences matching my feeling with the meaning of the colors described above. The sequences were played with a pizzicato sound (MT-32). I just filled the track following the color changes of the map. This track was treated with some delay and reverb.
For the third row I only looked at the vaults on the map. I chose a vst synth (PolyvoksStation) and created some low notes according to the location and length of the vault.
The numbers accompanying the vaults on the map I used for my ritme track. I first created a very simple and short ritme, looped it and changed its tempo (BPM) according to the number on the map.
Quite some work calculating and creating the pieces. Hope you're still with me ;-)
This project begins May 23, 2013, and ends May 27, 2013:
The browser-based map-dispersal code was developed by Ken Mistove (kenzak.com). Additional design assistance from Boon Design (boondesign.com).
Disquiet Junto Project 0073: Faulty Notation
This week’s project is about earthquakes. Each participant will receive a distinct section of a map of the San Andreas Fault. The section will be interpreted as a graphic notation score. The resulting music will, in the words of Geoff Manaugh of BLDG BLOG, “explore the sonic properties of the San Andreas Fault.”
There are 4 steps to this project:
Step 1: To be assigned a segment of the map, go to the following URL. You will be asked to enter your SoundCloud user name, and then to enter your email address. You will receive via that email address a file, approximately 1MB in size, containing your map segment:
Step 2: Study the map segment closely. Develop an approach by which you interpret the map segment as a graphic notation score. The goal is for you to “read” the image as if it were presented as a piece of notated music. Read the image from left to right. Pay particular attention to solid black lines, which represent fault lines. For additional guidance and inspiration, you may refer to the map legend at the following URL. The extent to which you take the legend into consideration is entirely up to you:
Step 3: Record an original piece of music based on Step 2. It should be between two and six minutes in length. You can use any instrumentation you choose, except the human voice. (Note: Do not use any source material to which you do not yourself outright possess the copyright. This is highly important, because we may look into developing a free iOS app of the resulting recordings.)
Step 4: When posting your track, include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto.
Deadline: Monday, May 27, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.
Length: Your track should have a duration of between two and six minutes.
Title/Tag: Include the term “disquiet0073-faultynotation” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.
Download: Please consider employing a license that allows for attributed, commerce-free remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).
Linking: When posting the track, be sure to include this information:
More on this 73rd Disquiet Junto project, which involves reading a map of the San Andreas Fault as if it were a graphic notation score, at:
This project was conducted as part of a course of study led by Geoff Manaugh (BLDG BLOG). More on his research at:
More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
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- Graphic Score