This is the fourth track I’ve recorded in honor of Bassel Khartabil Safadi, a pioneering and beloved Syrian open-source programmer who gave his life to ensuring an open web, teaching others about technology, and contributing his experience freely to help the world. Syrian military police arrested him in 2012 for unstated crimes, and held him without trial. In August of 2017, the world learned he had been executed in October 2015. To this date, his body has not been given to his family for proper mourning and burial, and the manner in which he was put to death remains a mystery.
In the end, pessimism breaks people quicker, and with more permanence, than fear. The greatest weapon used against free-thought warriors such as Bassel is not to make them scared – it’s to make them feel alone in their fight, discouraged and ashamed.
Apologize for nothing, Bassel.
All sounds either Bassel or guitar.
Underlying bed is reversed “Amazing Grace” mixed with three tracks of Bassel’s phrase ~13x stretched: One track is him harmonized and pitched down to F#; One is him disambiguated as noise; One is him just straight up sloooowed doowwwn.
Floated over the affair with an eBow.
This track marks my 69th Disquiet Junto contribution.
My studio suffered an irreparable crash last week while attempting the first of these two most recent #freebassel projects. Kind creative forces graced me, however, with a few workarounds and a long-overdue seat kick into a more current-era workflow. I hold onto the thought that all my tech disruption (forced unwinding and time-zero reconfiguration of twenty+ years of habits) would make Bassel, well, just laugh. I hope that laughing’s all he’s doing now.
Over the course of Bassel’s incarceration, the Disquiet Junto dedicated a number of its weekly projects to the #FreeBassel movement in the hopes of keeping his story – and possibly Bassel himself – alive. I produced a couple tracks that made it into their respective Junto weeks:
One other project I attempted stalled in the concept phase, but instead of letting it languish, I fleshed it out on my latest record into a Dylan-esque acerbic romp through a world refusing to change:
This week’s track, though, was the first of these for Bassel I recorded knowing he will never hear it. Killed the urgency and upped the poignancy, I guess. Wish I was less numb about all this.
Guitar: Peekamoose Custom Workhorse M2
Pedalboard: SmallSound/BigSound Sparkle Motion -> SS/BS Mini F*ck -> tc electronic Flashback Delay -> EHX Superego (Send/Receive: EQD Arpanoid -> EHX POG2 -> Diamond Tremolo) -> EHX Freeze -> EQD Grand Orbiter -> EQD Afterneath -> Strymon blueSky Reverb -> Pigtronix Infinity Looper
Amp: Fender SuperChamp X2 (set to vintage Princeton Reverb voice)
MOTU 828mk2 -> MacBook Pro
Windows PC (DIY)
Paulstretch (standalone, Windows 10)
Harrison Mixbus 4 (DAW and mastering)
Disquiet Junto Project 0294: Offline Status
Pay tribute to the late Bassel Khartabil by turning his spoken words into music.
More on this 294th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Offline Status: Pay tribute to the late Bassel Khartabil by turning his spoken words into music. — at:
Thanks to Niki Korth, Jon Phillips, and Barry Threw for encouraging this project. More on Bassel here:
More on the Disquiet Junto at:
Subscribe to project announcements here:
Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:
There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.