— ../westy (@westyreflector) September 15, 2017
September 15, 2017 at 04:30PM
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.…
“Creating is living doubly.”
This was the third Disquiet Junto project that revolved around Bassel Khartabil Safadi, a coder, artist and free-expression pioneer wrongfully jailed by Syria, his home country, for “harming state security.” In October, he was transferred to a secret location, and his whereabouts as of this writing are unknown. This past week (2015.11.14), disturbing rumors surfaced of a possible death sentence. The background and all current updates on Bassel’s case can be found here: http://freebassel.org.
I chose hellekin’s epilogue, The Cost Of Future Tense, a beautiful piece of writing that became more transcendent with each successive reading. I didn’t want to get in the way, so went about crafting a minimal, improvised ambient duet for acoustic guitar and AniMoog to allow the words to float and breathe.
“Whitey” (1988 Ovation Custom Balladeer) –SmallSound / BigSound Sparkle Motion –tc electronic Flashback Delay –Earthquaker Afterneath –Strymon blueSky reverberator
C-G-D-D-A-E (Michael Hedges “Breakfast In The Field” tuning)
AKG C3000B –Lexicon MX200 rack reverb
AniMoog for iPad –Flux:FX (Multi-Verb preset)
AMP / DAW
Line6 Pod-XT Tube PreAmp –MOTU 828mk2 –Sony Acid 7.0 (Win 8.1)
I was proud to contribute a track to the first #freebassel Junto project in 2014, which coincided with the 2nd anniversary of Bassel’s incarceration. That track, Intransitive Disappearance, was also released on my record, Particle Theory (bandcamp | soundcloud | freemusicacrchive).
The source of the text in this project is from the book The Cost of Freedom, which raises awareness about the ongoing detainment of Creative Commons coder/artist Bassel Khartabil Sadafi.…
Connected to this assignment, and wanted to do some small part to keep Bassel’s cause and case out front. I’m not a foley artist and field recording is not my game, though, so consider this less a soundscape than a track that might run over closing credits.
Married some royalty-free congas, tambourines and trap kit loops on an Acid timeline.
Selected two samples of Bassel speaking from the video: “I’m sorry I can’t see you.” and “That can be controlled.”
Locked in a drone with an EHX Superego and Freeze running through a Strymon Blue Sky.
Improvised a bed with an ebow.
Then riffed around the most “eastern” scale I know. The result may be more Spanish Gypsy than Syrian, but still felt Mediterranean. Just wanted to evoke a mood.
“The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.”
– Albert Camus
We can all be disappeared now. More and more it’s an intransitive verb.
Disquiet Junto Project 0108: Free Bassel
For this week’s project, we’re going to create soundscapes for an ancient Middle Eastern city. And in the process, we’re going to raise awareness about an imprisoned open-source developer with strong ties to the Creative Commons community. Bassel Khartabil, before his arrest on March 15, 2012, in Damascus, was working on several projects, among them a 3D rendering of the ancient city of Palmyra. Much as Bassel was trying to revive an ancient world, you are, in essence, keeping one of his projects alive while he is incapable of doing so.
The project instructions are as follows:
Step 1: View this video for background on Bassel’s digital Palmyra project:
Step 2: If you aren’t viewing this instruction on the Disquiet.com project page, go to the following URL to view three still images from Bassel’s 3D work: