Each week, the music community I have managed since 2012, the Disquiet Junto, receives and acts on a music composition prompt that is sent out via email. I mention the latest of these projects in each Tuesday’s This Week in Sound issue, as the prompts end each Monday (at 11:59pm, wherever a given participant may be). This week we’ve embarked on what is often among the most popular and active projects of the year, which is why I’m mentioning it while it’s still underway. Barely a day and a half after the project went live, already over 20 musicians had contributed to the SoundCloud playlist, with additional folks posting from YouTube and other hosting services on llllllll.co, where Junto discussion usually takes place. That was Friday evening, when I sent out an issue of This Week in Sound, containing an earlier version of this post. As I update it right now, just after noon on Sunday, there are 35 tracks in the playlist, plus a YouTube video on llllllll.co.
Dr. Ethan Hein, a frequent and longtime Junto participant, who has also written a lot about the Junto over the years, has said this particular project is “a horizon-broadening creative experience.” What he’s referring to is not just this specific week’s project, but also the two that will follow in the coming weeks.
You see, how this sequence of projects works is that the first week, participants upload a solo piece, one that is intended to, over time, with the contributions of other musicians, become a trio. Thus, for the first week, it’s helpful for participants to leave room for who and what will follow.
The second week, musicians each select solo pieces from week one, pan them to the left, and add a second channel on the right, creating not just duets, but incomplete ones. Then the final week, new participants add a third track in the center, thus completing the trios.
It’s a pretty incredible project to listen to as it unfolds, especially when, come week two, you can sometimes hear multiple duets built from one initial solo track — and the same, when the trios are complete, come week three. Sometimes there’s even a fourth week, when Junto members remix the trios, utilizing the raw source material from previous weeks. We’ll see what happens. I sometimes consider doing a “quartet” version of this project, but that always feels ever so slightly too busy. Maybe down the road.
If you have interest and time, please join in (details at disquiet.com/0591). And check back in a week when the duets begin to take shape.
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