A Future In Commons: A Tribute To Bassel Khartabil

I have had the honour of having one of my tracks included in a tribute album for the late Bassel Khartabil*,  the track was created in response to one of the Disquiet Junto’s weekly prrojects:  

Disquiet Junto Project 0294: Offline Status
Pay tribute to the late Bassel Khartabil by turning his spoken words into music.

Note: Tracks from this project, and from previous Bassel-related Junto projects, may be played on the Over the Edge radio show on August 24th.

Step 1: This is the second of two consecutive projects we’re undertaking, following the news of Bassel Khartabil’s death. (If you’re new to the Junto, Bassel was an open-source coder who did a lot of work in CGI before being imprisoned in Syria. Word of his execution just recently became public. This is the sixth project we’ve done about him over the years.)

Step 2: Download the following short snippet of an audio file, just seven seconds, of Bassel speaking. In it you’ll hear his voice, as well as the lofi glory of mundane Internet communication, and some beeping inherent in everyday digital tools. You’ll use all this audio in your own track for this project. It’s on dropbox.com.

Step 3: Listen closely to Bassel’s voice and the other sounds that make up the file from Step 2.

Step 4: Record a piece of music that either begins with or ends with the full audio of Bassel’s voice. Use your own original instrumentation as well as elements extracted from the audio file as part of your composition to either extend from or lead up to the provided audio.  (disquiet)


My track was entitled ‘Uneasiness’ after one of Bassel’s paintings that he painted whilst in jail (I have used it as the featured image**).

You can find my track here:  Uneasiness .

The whole album is here:

All proceeds will go to The Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund, which is being run by Creative Commons.

Some boring technical information for any of the audio geeks who might read this!:
For my track I used the sample of Bassel’s voice to create some of the pads and granular noise, I modulated these using ApeDelay, AudioDamage Suite on iOS, AmazingNoises Reverb and AUFX Dub/Space/Push were also employed in this part of the process. I then created a melancholic melody using two Fugues via FugueMachine which I then recorded midi loops of into KorgGadget; which in turn then powered several synths. The rhythm track was created using Olympia Noise Co.’s Patterning. Final compositing was done with Logic Pro X…

**Featured image:

Bassel Safadi – July 11, 2015, Damascus Central Jail “an uneasy or anxious feeling…”

photographed by joihttps://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/sets/72157661427611211

More of Bassel’s paintings here



Bassel Khartabil (Arabic: باسل خرطبيل‎‎), also known as Bassel Safadi (Arabic: باسل صفدي‎‎), (22 May 1981, Damascus – 3 October 2015) was a Palestinian Syrian open-source software developer. On 15 March 2012, the one-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising, he was detained by the Syrian government at Adra Prison in Damascus.[3] Between then and 3 October 2015, he had been transferred to an unknown location, probably to be judged by a military court.[4][5] On 7 October 2015, Human Rights Watch and 30 other human rights organizations issued a letter demanding that Khartabil’s whereabouts be disclosed.[6] On 11 November 2015, rumors surfaced that Khartabil had been secretly sentenced to death.[7][8] In August 2017, it was revealed by his wife on Facebook[9][10] that Khartabil had been executed by the Syrian regime shortly after his disappearance in 2015.[11][12]

Khartabil was born in Damascus and raised in Syria, where he specialized in open source software development. He was chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of collaborative research company Aiki Lab[13] and was CTO of Al-Aous,[14] a publishing and research institution dedicated to archaeological sciences and arts in Syria. He has served as project lead and public affiliate for Creative Commons Syria,[15] and has contributed to Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, Openclipart, Fabricatorz, and Sharism.[16] He “is credited with opening up the Internet in Syria and vastly extending online access and knowledge to the Syrian people.”[17]

His last work included an open, 3D virtual reconstruction[18][19] of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria,[20] real time visualization, and development with Fabricatorz for the web programming framework Aiki Framework. This was later created and displayed in his honor.[21]

source wikipedia (opens in new window)





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s