The Big Exhale by Farhad Bandesh

The Big Exhale by Farhad Bandesh

I am a Kurdish artist.

I am a refugee imprisoned by the Australian Government on Manus Island for nearly six years. I have released a song and music video called The Big Exhale.

Hunted like a bird
Languish in a cage
Eyes full of tears
Holes in humanity

View on YouTube to see complete lyrics.

Also see the article here for more about the song and it’s singer:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/jun/04/writing-for-his-life-manus-island-detainee-farhad-bandesh-releases-soaring-new-song

Also see a related story.

“How many more people must die on Manus before Australia ends indefinite detention?” by Behrouz Boochani

Refugees were counting down the days to the election. But our hopes have been dashed and the future is grim

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/03/how-many-more-people-must-die-on-manus-before-australia-ends-indefinite-detention

I have never seen the refugees on Manus so depressed. Even when Reza Barati was killed, when that innocent man was sacrificed … that time when the other refugees were bashed and beaten.

I swear, it has never been like this. Not even on Good Friday in 2017 when soldiers rained shots into the prison camp.

Even at the height of the violence and when confronted with death the refugees always maintained a sense of hope. However, the day after the election, everything sank into an abyss of darkness. The outcome of the last election extinguished the last glimmer of hope for freedom, it shut out any hope that remained after six years of purgatory. Overnight everything just slipped away.

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And Now For Something Completely Different: The Best 1812 Overture Ever

Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture has always been one of my favourite pieces of music.

Around the time I started my first full time job I bought a recording of it conducted by Eugene Ormondy, featuring The Mormon Tabernacle choir, and climaxing with real cannons and “Russian” church bells. In my opinion no version I’ve heard has ever surpassed that one.

I spent many lunchbreaks in my car, seat reclined, playing the recording at full volume on the car stereo. I grew to know every part of it from beginning to end. Even today I find myself whistling the most well-known part of it at home.

My friend Chris sent me the link to the following version. This video has additional significance. As I watched it I realised that I’d seen it before, probably when it was first aired on TV decades ago during my childhood. I share it as a little light relief ahead of a serious and difficult post I’m planning to publish within the next few days.

And just in case you’d prefer something a little more highbrow, here’s the Eugene Ormandy version I mentioned above.