Prison Sky (Disquiet Junto Project 0271)


Thank you very much. The hidden stories are always of interest. What often goes through the minds of the incapacitated during times of crisis is a longing for the mundane. There’s a YouTube video transcribing one of Noura’s letters to Bassel that is very moving — that was sort of the inspiration here.


This is a very interesting take. Definitely gives the sense of having something taken away just at the moment of rapture. A very accurate and literal interpretation of this week’s theme.


Uncanny coincidence: we considered doing a wreck of “How Long,” the 1970’s hit by Ace, but quickly discarded the idea because because that song is about jealousy. Your interpretation is spot-on. Definitely gives the impression of someone losing faith while staying hopeful. Love the roughness of the recording. Well done.


There is a really strong feeling of chin-up defiance in the middle section, counter to the sense of anger and drudgery either side.


This track absolutely captivated from the get-go, and really moved me - exceptional work.


This is also exceptional - I must admit I was initially worried as to what you might have done with the Beethoven, but hats off, this is really well executed and totally fitting. The standards are really high this week!




Thanks, it’s a thrill to get that comment from a connaisseur of the 9Th.
Great massive work really; And that chord at 1:37? It’s Beethoven’s original, it brings back the track to the dark side alright, I just had to follow Ludwing.


This piece came about as an attempt to express my emotional reaction to Bassel Khartabil’s story. It’s hard for me to imagine the effects of 5 years of injustice and incarceration but I wanted to contribute something to this project to show my support.
I recorded a simple improvised piano line and fed this into Fieldscaper on the iPad. The app mixed the clips with a recording of prison noise and the pitch, playback and filters were modulated.
My thoughts go out to Bassel and I hope his release comes soon.


This project resonated with me in many ways, I’ve been part of various open source communities for nearly 20 years now, and my musical style is glimpses of hope in desperate situations

Here’s my piece, it kinda ran over the desired time, but my “one live take” style kinda does that.

and here’s a video of me performing it, with some edited inserts so you can see more clearly what’s going on, you can play spot the continuity errors if you want.

The left tape contains two tracks of shopping carts being smashed together, put through delay and reverbs. The right tape has a synth note on each track: B, F#, D, D#. Track starts in Bminor, has two guitar distorted, reverby guitar loops running, and some extra noises and glitches are added from various pedals and sent through the main pedal board as well (it’s on the mixer Aux send)
Halfway through the D track is faded out, and the D# is added to change the key to Bmajor, a new, more hopeful guitar line is added and a field recording of kids playing (field) hockey is added. The reverb decay of the guitar line is jacked up to full and allowed to decay naturally at the end.


Soundcloud link: Drew Smith - i see the sky (disquiet0271)

Here is my submission for this. I used a loop of guitar playing and manipulated it with Max/MSP and Ableton, and included field recordings. My main goal was to create a cinematic atmosphere that portrays the feeling that Bassel felt when staring up at the sky. A feeling of simultaneous peace and longing. Thank you very much to Disquiet for introducing me to Bassel’s story, I sincerely hope he is released, alive and well.


My first contribution:

Made with Ableton Live 9. Two loops used, one with drone Dark Synth / Amazing Noises, one with melody from Kaivo / Madrona Labs. This should symbolize square sky (melody) and prison everyday live (drone). Piano (Pianoteq 5) was recorded live in one track, right hand mostly improvised. Last track was done with Stria from ApeSoft with harsh, raw sounds as a metaphor for unexpected and painful events in prison. This sound was played on an iPad and recorded through StudioMux. No further effects used than included with instruments.


You spelled disquiet incorrectly in the title


This is my first contribution! My goal was to just finish the song; I’ve just started composing, so finishing a song is a big deal to me. I tried hard to get across a mix of hope and hopelessness. It loops once partly to mimic the way nothing ever changes within a prison cell, each day’s the same as the one before it. The piece also uses very few instruments because a prison cell is empty. I recorded myself blowing to make an empty wind sound.


In case the Soundcloud embed doesn’t show, here’s the URL to my piece:

I created a generative Pure Data patch and recorded some of its output. Then I selected a few sections of output and arranged them in sequence in Audacity, tweaking some fades and applying some normalization.


How to compose a piece of music with the topic of someone being held prisoner for five years in a Syrian prison, when you know the reports of Human Rights Organizations about prisons in Syria, and when you have done research and worked in the field of trauma?
Quite a heavy job for me.
I played sounds and tranquil passages with my bass, and a melancholic melodic section with my guitar, mixing these to express stages of emotions, from sheer terror, horror to fear and hopelessness, but also hope



Thanks, just corrected it. Unfortunately the links seems to remain diquiet…