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THEY WILL BE FREE: a song cycle

by Divya M. Persaud

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Also included is an eBook of the full-color lyrics booklet.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $13 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    With BONUS TRACKS! Comes with a beautiful, full-color lyrics micro-booklet in a jewel case, a digital copy of the full-color lyrics booklet, and a digital copy of the bonus lyrics booklet.

    Includes unlimited streaming of THEY WILL BE FREE: a song cycle via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $18 USD or more 


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    THEY WILL BE FREE ultimate package! In addition to the compact disc with bonus tracks, show off the EARTHLING 1 grand tour with a mission patch sticker and declassified mission log transcriptions in a lovely booklet!

    Includes unlimited streaming of THEY WILL BE FREE: a song cycle via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days

      $24 USD


Enterlude 00:23
It is the not-so distant future. We follow two astronauts sharing a capsule, traveling through space. They are alone. And yet, they are not. This is the story of humanity’s search for life in the Universe and what it finds.
Earthling 1 01:27
we are a moment of time spared motion this is the end of earth, birthed umbral ocean. i am not alone; they speak inside me, the ash of beings, the last of home. they will be free among the stars, we, spilled clean among the stars.
Venus 01:03
you will grow into my teeth the day on which we shall first meet vapor blossoms and tides stilling you may earn this favor, earth, if willing; speak, speak, listen; I will grow into your teeth
Earth 02:12
You are leaving me, one step at a time into the great abyss, but I can hold onto you, dear. You are safe here with me and outer space would consume you / are not ready, dear, to so leave your mother and embrace the night threaded in such emptiness: here it speaks the night is me / me-- you are leaving me right now; you earth-child born in this my night; oh, my child, you must leave me now if I am going to survive.
Mars 03:20
We speak in glances, us the light caught in broken glass: I your redshift ocean and you my azure desert. We trade secrets in the space between our days, the rotation of the night. You have said to me that the brightness by your side was born of the quietude we built of our shards and I wonder, often, at the glass that litters my mounts: their glimmer so rare. one day we shall meet, long from now, oh sister/brother, may we outshine these stars and see each other. The time will pass quickly before me you martyr but for now, let us watch this, the night, shatter
Europa 02:00
my dear, it is me they will reach us soon to them i, the sea, and you, a mere moon— you cannot hear this, my love, they will breach us, dear, please hear this, as you feel my touch feel, too, my words: you, this skin above, through all time and its death you have been my breath love, this is no loss, this act of chaos
Titan 02:30
rain settles on my skin in wait for you, this dew so patient (my) oceans stilled in wait for you into ancient blue sinew saturn breaks her great glass eyes on me, for she loves to make the ice turn ash and who am I now to deny this motion yet I still the seas in wait for you— and so for you they may be free
Pluto 01:29
you have come from so far away but we did not ask: you see our blue skies crown these proud eyes and see your own; these mounts grown from ice your prize. the bold, he takes and she rakes this soil but we are not an earth-toiled thought; in our seas drink wrath, and drown in the demon you have sown-- your ship's path lost in rot
TRAPPIST-1e 03:04
I am not alone–
 we keepers of 
the dusk. you will reach us;
 I feel it, on my 
horizon. I listen: wind 
the night about
 my hands and breathe. you will reach us,
 following this
 thread I leave for you– the light is eternal:
 the morning 
for you to hold in freedom
Earthling 2 01:58
i am born with wings: she sings me to sleep in this dark deep. mars speaks red beside my bed and i am earthling-two like flowers grew in this moment sailing beyond; a finite frond in starry torment-- my name is a destination, my mother a home i will never know i am born with wings: she sings me to sleep in this dark deep. she says, "no war, here," and i listen, she says, "no war, here," and i listen, "there is no sound in space, so i can't hear, mama dear" past neptune we flew; the question grew-- "i am earthling-two, so who are you?" she says, "no war, here," and i listen, and fall asleep, in this dark deep.


The EARTHLING (EARTH search for Life IN the universe Grand tour) 1 mission was a series of probes of astrobiological targets as a "grand tour," in homage to the Voyager mission. Due to the expected duration of the mission, a single astronaut was chosen to pilot the system, deploy its probes, and perform the required experiments or initiate automated laboratory instrument functions as necessary. This astronaut was understood to not return to Earth after arrival at TRAPPIST-1e.

THEY WILL BE FREE is a song cycle that follows the EARTHLING 1 mission as it searches for life in the Universe, narrated by two astronauts and the worlds they visit. Using traditional composition, electro-acoustics with both vintage and modern space exploration audio, nods to Indian classical music, and poetic storytelling, TWBF illustrates an epic tale of hope, desperation, and liberation.

Bonus tracks: divyamp.bandcamp.com/album/they-will-be-free-bonus-tracks

Trailer: www.facebook.com/divyampersaud/videos/2014541512108299/


released August 23, 2017

THEY WILL BE FREE: a song cycle
Copyright © 2017 Divya M. Persaud

Composition, poetry, editing, and production by D.M. Persaud
"Pluto" composition by Najia Khaled 

Song Credits:

Enterlude: NASA/Voyager; The Planetary Society/Also Sprach Zarathustra (Strauss) in simulated Mars air pressure
Earthling 1: Najia Khaled (voice), Jackson Alexander (guitar)
Venus: Najia Khaled (voice), Malik Chaney (violin), D.M. Persaud (cello), Benny Cheung (piano)
Earth: Najia Khaled (voice), Benny Cheung (piano)
Mars: Rajiv Mohabir, D.M. Persaud (voice); P.S. Mukherjee (violin, 1931); NASA/Apollo
Europa: Rowan Lyons (voice); United States Air Force Heritage of America Band; bicycle and church bells (Wikimedia)
Titan: Cassandra Litten (voice), D.M. Persaud (pre-recorded electronics)
Pluto: Najia Khaled (voice)
Trappist-1: Diana Wu (voice), D.M. Persaud (cello); additional voices (see track); NASA/Kepler
Earthling 2: D.M. Persaud, Najia Khaled (voice); Benny Cheung (piano)
Voice Transcriptions #1-3: Sanji Dewan, Lonika Singh (voice)
Voice Transcription #4: D.M. Persaud (voice)

Image credits:
NASA public archives
NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI
NASA / JPL / University of Arizona
NASA / JPL / University of Arizona / Arizona State University


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Divya M. Persaud New York, New York

scientist / musician / writer / the void

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