Disquiet Junto Project 0252: Make a Sonic Palindrome: [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

Interpreting a palindrome through sound is almost too easy a challenge. Record some music, process it to play backwards, then butt the two ends together to arrive at a “forward + backward” outcome. Instant palindrome.

To our benefit or detriment, Suss Müsik doesn’t do anything the easy way. A typical Suss Müsik piece improves reductively and methodically over many iterations. It takes a long time to filter out the dodgy playing and sour notes to reveal any good stuff buried within.

In this short piece, Suss Müsik began with a simple “forward + backward” rule: whatever one plays, try to trace it back to the origin. A bit of reverse-reverb was applied to the guitar to create the effect of coming and going in equal distance.

The piano and percussion bits came out of an attempt to play “five-prime to three-prime” phrases. The intention was to match the nucleic composition of double-stranded DNA when it forms a double helix. In genetic science, this is known as a palindromic sequence. Now you know.

Eventually, “fives to threes” became “sixes to twos.” Both add up to eight, so we called it a wash and built upon it. The reverse-reverb treatment was applied to the piano chords for the ending, which at one point sounded exactly the same played backwards or forwards.

The result is a sloppy, sentimental mess of a piece, pretty much the opposite of what one would expect for this exercise. We’re not really sure how it happened. Suss Müsik in a nutshell.

The piece is titled Detartrated, a palindrome word to describe the process of improving the taste of fruit juice by removing bitter citric tartrates.

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