Sowers of discord

Nov 13, 2020, 04:46 PM

Sowers of discord created by Audio Obscura.

"For the first week I read as much as I could on the particular zone I had chosen, excerpts of the English translation and articles online about the context. I also listened to other musical versions that had interpreted this text. Some of the reading was uncomfortable, parts of Dante's text is racist, Islamophobic and antisemitic by our standards. It does date to 1320, making it 700 years old, an almost impossible time frame to really contemplate in the life of a written work of art.  

"I tried to approach the sound piece by imagining and immersing myself in a sort of fantasy world, like being trapped in a movie or virtual reality world of the inferno. This helped me escape the uncomfortable elements I found.  I wanted elements of noise and dissonance in the piece but these had to be in balance and not take over.  

"I always wanted to have the sound of knifes being sharpened - which is mentioned in the original text. I recorded these myself in my kitchen. The hardest part though was creating the two keyboard / synth lines that dominate the track. I wanted them to be both pleasant enough to listen too but also to create a sense of tension between them and foreboding. This took me a few weeks of playing around, improvising and recording.  

"Once I had these written and at a tempo and style I was happy with I was able to create the other elements, adding and taking away underlying noises and atmosphere, almost like turning up and down the sense of tension and peril. There are some added string / orchestral sounds underneath the keys hinting towards classical music.  

"I added further atmospheric effects, crackles and moments of static that were intentional, I wanted to give to give the piece a sense of fragility like it could cut out at any moment as though there were forces fighting against the very creation and playback of this music."

Part of the Inferno project to imagine and compose the sounds of Dante’s Hell, marking the 700th anniversary of The Divine Comedy. To find out more, visit