The first song, Alabaster Skies, is meant to represent the first circle of Hell Dante enters, known as Limbo. It’s a place whose subjects weren’t necessarily “evil”, but were either unbaptized or did little with their lives and the privileges they had been given. They sit, and wait for nothing. I found this a similar state to the way technology has moronized, sedated, and desensitized today’s youth. We are all constantly in a trance of technology, swept away into a barren wasteland of ones and zeroes, and I wanted this song to reflect that. The sample at the beginning of the composition is one by known Lebanese singer Umm Kulthum. The song itself is a 40 minute tirade, known to many fans as “trance music” for its dreamy nature. The song is about unrequited love or desire, in the same way that we in turn love and worship machines that will never love us back I wanted to integrate a wide range of my own sonic experience into this work, and Arabic music is something that has been central to my family and our friends since I was a child.
Circle 7: The Violent
(Still in progress)
The second song “Ice” (attached) represents those final moments of Hell, as the final circle is not a pit of fire, but of ice, cold and unfeeling. Part of the theme of Dante’s Inferno is that the people he meets down there (in the darker parts of Hell) have hardened their hearts to the world and to others. The pits of hell are not a fiery end, but actually frozen solid, to symbolize how Dante himself has frozen and desensitized himself from the world in so many ways. This is how Dante relays his depression, and this is something that resonates with myself, as this theme of mental illness is something I struggle with daily and was hospitalized for. Production includes lonely operatic vocals and a lot of constructed ambience, much having to do with the mysticism of Dante’s works.