"Suite Bassel" mvt. 1 & 2 (2014)
composed by Daniel Zajicek
Chapman Welch, Guitar; Karl Fulbright, Alto Sax; Thomas Helton, bass; Luke Hubley, Drum Set; Ben Lind, voice
Performed July 27th, 2014
University of St. Thomas, Cullen Hall
Houston Composers Salon || Summer Concert
“On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-Syrian, 31, is a respected computer engineer specializing in open source software development, the type of contributions the Internet is built upon. He launched his career ten years ago in Syria, working as a technical director for a number of local companies on cultural projects like restoring Palmyra and Forward Syria Magazine.” (http://freebassel.org)
I became acquainted with Bassel's plight through a close friend of mine, Jon Phillips, who knew Bassel as a friend and colleague. Jon is spearheading the public campaign to free Bassel from his imprisonment, and asked me to write some music in Bassel's honor.
The two movements presented here reflect the urgency of the situation in Syria along with some of Bassel's personality. The text comes from his twitter feed during the time leading up to his capture. My goal in choosing tweets was to encapsulate both the carefree and serious parts of his personality. These two movements set the stage for the capture taking place in the third movement, and the prison love song of the fourth and final movement, both to be performed at a later date.