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Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines

Album:Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines

End of 2013 I wrote a piece of flash fiction based on  Hymn of Faith by Jochem Weierink  from the album  Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines, which was created on a theme of Hope.

Authors from all over the world wrote stories inspired by musical compositions from this album, now compiled into a companion e-book anthology “Beyond the Binding”. Today the cover is being revealed all over blogiverse, and Daily (w)rite is part of the Big Blog Reveal for this amazing book. Samantha Geary, a cool blog friend, and now part of team Damyanti for the A to Z Blogging Challenge has helped create this miracle of collaboration, and I thank her for including me in this wonderful project.

Here’s the Blub for “Beyond the Binding”:

Embark on an exciting journey “Beyond the Binding” of the imagination with 29 authors from across the globe, in a groundbreaking collaboration where music meets fiction. Surrender to soaring compositions as they surge through the veins of every story, capturing the triumphant pulse of the notes in heart pounding sci fi, enchanting fantasy and gripping slices of realism.  

All proceeds of the Composers for Relief  album and Companion Collection ebook will go to Gawad Kalinga (“give care”) and GVSP (Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme), to support the relief efforts for victims of the deadliest natural disaster in Philippines’ history, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).


Here’s the gorgeous cover, flanked by my story of Hope based on Hymn of Faith – Jochem Weierink :

Beyond the Binding: Composers for Relief Companion Anthology

Beyond the Binding: Composers for Relief Companion Anthology

Darkness slow and deep, I lie quiet, quiet, still, unmoving, unbreathing in a dark, sugary sleep: no pain, no joy, no sight, no sound, no taste, I remain floating, distant. It is too much, I shall not wake up, I shall stay in this cotton wool world, its soft-sleepy music lifting me up through the roof, through the banisters, the rooms up above, through the entire weight of the building, its steeple, I shall keep rising like a frothy bit of cloud.

I shall not face it, hell, I have no face to face it with. Yesterday, they told me I have to be prepared, there is not much of a face left under the bandages. I was alive, that was the main thing. He’ll come and finish me, no use these tubes and covers and kindly voices, but I don’t tell them that.

I wanted to see my face, my not-face, my face he had snatched from me. I wanted to know how much damage a cup of liquid could cause, a Venti-sized, green-and-white plastic Starbucks cup of acid slung into me, all that burning afterwards, oh the burning, the hot needles of burning in each pore of my cheek, my forehead, my throat, my breasts, my stomach. I thrashed and snatched at the bandages, so they tied my hands, for my own good, they said, and put me upon this cloud. I will stay here in this cotton-wool cloud, see them when I can open my eyes better, when my left eyelid is unglued. The important thing is, they said, you still have eyes, we can save your eyes. Now, sleep.

Two months since I lost my face. It is doing well, they said, you’ll go home next week. And don’t worry about him, he’s in jail, and he’s not coming out any time soon.

I have seen it. I’ve seen the black mask. I’ve seen one eye glued shut, and the other, unblinking pupil. I have seen my teeth, no lips, two gaping holes instead of my nose. I have seen my head, peeling strips of skin. All my blonde hair, gone. Nothing a wig and some make-up can’t fix, they said, you’ll see. I threw things at them. I threw words. Bad words. I wanted to throw the bed at them, the room.

Shush my darling, they said, hush, we’ll bring you back your face. Promise. They patted my face with creams and oils, with words and smiles, with soft looks, with the love of my parents. They brought me my dog, who recognized me. Licked my face. Tickled me. Made me laugh. Laugh. Laughter.

Look! How beautiful you look, Frieda, darling, they say, holding a mirror. I look into it, and I see their hands on my face, their laughter, their love, their tears, their sleepless nights, their hands holding mine, their starched white uniforms, their lab coats, the stethoscopes, the bedpans, the tubes, the jars of ointment. Two years.

I look.

I have eyes, I have a nose, I have lips, I have cheek, chin, throat. I have hair. Not my hair, but still, hair. The main thing is, I have a face.

I will not hide. I will face the world. I have a face to face it with, after all.

I smile. And they smile with me.

I’m beautiful, and so are they.


Please support the cause by purchasing the beautiful album Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines available NOW on ITunes , Amazon CDBaby and Spotify and the companion anthology “Beyond the Binding” available soon on Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Diesel & Smashwords.

What do you think of the cover for Beyond the Binding? Would you buy the album and the anthology for a good cause? Would You Write for a Good Cause?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • I am usually in a world of my own so this article was very new to me. I did write for a cause soon after the horrific Delhi rape that shook every Indian from within. Unfortunately, I only got couple of clicks because my social networking skills are terrible. I love political debate and human rights related talks where I can use my writing skills as a weapon to bring change but I believe that is not a great idea at all in a country like India especially considering that any political party can come sniffing you when you attack their incompetent leaders.

  • jaime tong says:

    Beautiful imagery! I haven’t participated in writing for a cause — the idea is new to me and I think it’s great that writers are using their ‘weapons’ to help others.

  • Dan Antion says:

    I haven’t written for a cause, but I spoke for a cause. I was a member of Toastmasters, and we held a special speech contest. People paid $10 to enter and then spoke for 3 minutes about a local charity. The charity associated with the speech that was voted as the best received the entry fees. I did write a blog entry about a local tourist attraction, but it was more about a visit that my daughter and I had taken. The people at the attraction (Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA) picked up on the blog post and included excerpts in their membership magazine. So, I guess I did write for a cause.

  • Another very thoughtful, and in this instance, quite heart-rending piece,(though I do agree with KDKH that the orange print is a little hard on the eye)s. And yes, I would most certainly write for a good cause if invited or if I had something to say that could help.

    On a separate note, I make a monthly donation to the Red Cross, and in the wake of typhoon
    Haiyan, made an additional contribution for this. For anyone interested, the link is:

  • I read this while listening to the Hymn of Faith by Jochem Weierink. The intro of the music paired beautifully with that first line…”Darkness slow and deep, I lie quiet, quiet, still, unmoving, unbreathing in a dark, sugary sleep…”

    Quite a powerful, emotionally charged piece. I’m glad you found my work, and directed my attention to yours. 🙂


  • Joseph Nebus says:

    Oh, dear, I’ve tried writing for good causes but somehow that never quite works. I feel unsatisfied with what I’m trying to do and feel like what I put out is a muddle. Usually that represents itself by not having an ending, so the piece just trails off.

  • natashaglynn says:

    i like the sensory experience of this story in the beginning 🙂 beautiful.

  • fikayo says:

    I love this piece. It is speaks of hope more than pain. Nice work.

  • piarve says:

    I love the idea. I’ve set myself a challenge this year related to writing short stories based on music, it’s inspiring to see something similar on a larger scale which is going to a good cause.

  • I LOVE this. Wow. Blessings to you and I will definitely purchase the anthology. I love writing to music. There’s something completely transforming about it.
    I’m still on the fence about the AtoZ challenge. I wanna. Really, I do. Time is my only issue. Sigh…

  • Oh, hey, congratulations! And as a Filipino, I salute and thank you guys at the same time. Thank you very much! 🙂

  • Gaurab says:

    I have definitely worked for many causes and would keep on doing that my entire life. The violence in the society has increased a lot and it reading your post makes me sad that how much pain and suffering innocent people have to go through without any fault of theirs. 🙂

  • Great 🙂

  • WriterlySam says:

    My heartfelt thanks for joining this amazing project, Damyanti!

  • KDKH says:

    I like what I’ve read here, but I just wanted to comment that I found the orange print hard to read. I don’t understand why, but it made my eyes hurt. No worries if you really love it, but — ouch!

  • M.L. Swift says:

    GREAT release, Damyanti. Since you live way on the other side of the world, you don’t have to wait as long. Color me jealous…I’m about to burst. I have mine scheduled for 5 a.m. EST!

    Did you change your story a bit? Still excellent, it just seems different than when I read it last. 😀

    • Damyanti says:

      No changes, it is copied and pasted 😀

      Hehe I used to follow EST as well, but I keep getting confused!

      So you’re doing the A to Z challenge?

      • M.L. Swift says:

        Oh…it just seemed different. No wonder it’s still excellent! 🙂

        I would release at midnight, but it puts me way down on blogrolls if I post too early…5 a.m. is as long as I could wait.

        Yes! A-Z flash fiction. 🙂 I’m swamped, but want to do it and even have a good theme to go with the fiction. I’m beginning work on them now.

  • Mark Myers says:

    Absolutely! I love this idea and have done it on a smaller scale.

    • Damyanti says:

      That’s good to know. I think writers in general have a kind heart. Must be all that empathy they need to have for characters 😉

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