Generation Ship Disaster Revisited.

Dec 31, 2015

In 2008 Generation Ship Disaster was a collection of mostly instrumental music.

In 2012 a story was thought up for it, with the aim of being read over the original, unedited tracks in the same order and with the same titles as they were originally given.

This story was finally put into writing in December 2015, and with the help of 16 wonderful volunteers, was narrated over the top of the original music.

It was released on the 31st of December 2015 as part of a 2015 challenge to finally finish an art project started long ago every month.

Generation Ship Disaster Revisited

by Filip Hnízdo Tracks: 39 Released: 2015

Bulb 24


Harnessed and scrambling up the side of the building to fix another broken light I paused for a moment to stare out at the city through the reflection in the glass. Inverted and tinted it looked artificial, cyclical, as if put together by software to simulate the monotony of everyday life.

It was as if no one were going anywhere and the cars and people were travelling in an unbroken loop of sweeps and trails. The constant noise, almost unbearable when I first got the job, was now routine. Another broken light. Another thirty floors to climb, another moment enveloped in sound and light.

I thought of my boyfriend, sitting in one of the office buildings thinking about how perfect it was. He loved the traffic, the noise, the way the place looked like the ant colonies he spent his time maintaining. And he was the one stuck inside staring out while I looked in through glass at offices like his and preferred the small spaces. Perhaps I should have liked how monotonous the outside looked that day.

The sign was huge but I had caught a glimpse of what it read before I made my way up. It was fun to see the single broken bulb displacing the advertising’s impact, sometimes appearing on someone’s face as an unfortunate pimple. Sometimes a group of breakages would take out a whole letter. I noticed the moon, bouncing its way off three other windows before reaching me. It looked brighter than usual and flickered. As I screwed in the bulb, made checks, swapped a few cables that had rusted, overheated or just weren’t fitted properly in the first place I didn’t think anything of it. I closed the hatch, packed up my things and checked my wrist for the next job. I tapped the address into the navigator and stopped...

The moon wasn’t supposed to flicker.

Festive Peak


The asparagus sat, steaming and ready, on the counter in the kitchen. The meal needed it. Desperately. It wasn’t that the cauliflower, peas and lion meat from one of those try something new ranges were the issue, the issue was it needed more. It might not always work but you’ve got to try. Everyone was bored and lifeless. It was killing me. Food was the answer.

The background Christmas music was making it worse, it was meant as a joke! It failed. But turning it off would seem snappy. If the asparagus didn’t work maybe even more food would, the more out of place the better. Food had to solve this. Anything to prompt a reach for a side dish, a passing remark on its preparation, a smile. It simply needed a shot of energy to pop some life into the pile of seeping awkwardness. Were these even my friends?

Laying the table was a gift, a break from the drought of conversation. The small talk wasn’t big enough, the only thing that could save it was more food. Yes, food. Food is important. I considered condiments and elaborate cutlery. Bendy straws. I had five minutes in the kitchen before they noticed. I could make this work. I looked at the yams. Perhaps that was what it needed, something to distract everyone into having fun. Fun with yams.

I grabbed the yams and made my way through the door. Up three steps and back to the table. The room was completely silent. No table tapping, sighing or glances at watches. No awkward silence anymore. Real silence. Silence, it turns out, is hell.

I looked at the table with the yam dish in my hand and saw everyone’s necks tensed and turned. Backs of heads all in a line while the fronts pointed out in one direction. Shoulders and heads all tilted back unnaturally and trembling in a loop of shivering pulses. The window. Not even yams could save us once we’d seen that.



The trees all look the same. Parallel lines. A track. I’m getting nowhere. Running for hours. Running for hours with my breath thirty meters behind begging to catch up and chasing me. The trees can’t all look the same. There’s got to be an end. I’m stamping into puddles and feeling the splashes burst onto my legs. They’re different every time. The trees have to be different. I’m getting somewhere. The forest is ending. There’s no time to look back. I can almost see it ahead. I’m getting somewhere. Voices, sirens and smashing glass behind me.

My legs and chest ache but can’t stop anymore. I’m not in control. The trees all look the same. I’m getting nowhere. I’m getting somewhere. It’s ending. Fewer trees. Grey and white sheets of metal signpost the end of the forest. A doorway, a lake, colours change into cabling. Opening to black. It’s real and I wish I didn’t know it. The edge of the world. The forest ends and leads to nowhere but the stars.



In humans, shyness is the feeling of apprehension or lack of confidence experienced in regard to social association with others, e.g. being in proximity to, approaching and being approached by others. In zoology, shy generally means "tends to avoid human beings"; See crypsis.

Shyness is most likely to occur during unfamiliar situations, though in acute cases it may hinder an individual in his or her most familiar situations and relationships as well. Shy individuals avoid the objects of their apprehension in order to avoid feeling uncomfortable and inept, thus the situations remain unfamiliar and the shyness perpetuates itself. Shyness may fade with time

Vandals and Car Thieves


It was a dark swivel chair with some grey cushions, an unknown stain and a rip to the top right side. It had nothing, nothing to do with you.

Carpet mixed with clumps of hair and I found
the keys to your car
hit the pedal to the ground
and I only drive three miles before I was missing you.

Vandals and car thieves by day
A star-struck wreck in the afternoon
I'm coming soon and you'd better be breathing.



I just ran. The glass smashed and I ran. Everything just turned in a second and I ran. We all realised it together and I just ran. Ran down the stairs. It’s my house but they could keep it. Sit down. Have a final meal. ‘The plums are great!’ Enjoy themselves while it all goes to hell. I was getting out of there. Arguments, news reports. Panic.

When you find yourself screaming at your friends you’ve got to run. Soon they’ll all be against you. You’ve got to run. You’ve always, always got to run.



It’s getting close. Double clicks become the sound of engines. Each keystroke is a building reaching towards a floating sky surrounded by painted steel and mirrors. I can feel the world between the wireframes. The computer model is dancing on its own. It’s the future. The sound of whirs in the image. Black on white to green and blue. Shouts of life and joy in crowds. Children. Lakes. Forests. An ocean. Sixteen generations. Windows. Views. Their own history.

No one is left in the office but it’ll soon be crowded. It’ll be full of romance, life, light and genius. Everyone here will be forgotten but I’m no longer me. This is me. This is the future and I’m going to be everywhere.

Handsfree 1

Acoustic Guitars


An acoustic guitar has nothing going in a place like this.
An acoustic guitar has nothing going in a place like this.
I try to dream while the synths go round and the chords melt away and my strumming's drowned
An acoustic guitar has nothing going in a place like this.

Getting kicked for requesting folk in club I'm tired of disco I'm tired of dub
An acoustic guitar has nothing going in a place like this.

Then out of the corner of my eye I see another harmless guy looking bored, at the lack of a C Major chord.
We know acoustic guitars have nothing going in a place like this.

Acoustic guitars have something going in a place like this.
Acoustic guitars have something going in a place like this.
Acoustic guitars have something going in a place like this.
Acoustic guitars have something going in a place like this.



Bouncing to the sky, the wind is in my hair, quad-biking down the coast looking out at an ocean that stretches to forever. Four wheels tearing through the sand. The sound, smell and touch of circular splashes of water when I get too close. The growl of the engine.

I’m leaping from dune to dune while dolphins arc through the air in sync and follow me in a dance. Screens reflecting coloured lights into the surface of the water. The sun above me like a spotlight. It’s burnt away all the clouds. This is heaven on...



You don’t sound like anyone else. Your accent is beautiful. Really. I love listing to your voice. I don’t know anyone else who sounds like you. Any one. Where did you get it from? I know that’s a stupid question. But no, no, it isn’t a stupid question. Who are your parents? Where did you... Each word is so soft, melodic, it makes me feel wonderful. You make me feel wonderful.

Are you just putting it on? You aren’t. No. No. Even that would be beautiful. You genuinely don’t sound like anyone else. Do you get this all the time? I’ll stop. Every syllable. Every single syllable. Ok, I’ll stop, I’ll stop.
Talk to me. Tell me about your day. No I’m not just doing it to… ok, maybe a bit. I care as well. No, I do. Really. I care about your day. Hey. Don’t stop.

What have you done today? How was work? OK, I don’t care about your work unless you come home with cuts on your arms again. Show me your arms. I do care about you. Talk to me. Please? What’s going on?



I wanted to write some lyrics but I've nothing left to write.
It's late and dark and I'm alone within this house tonight.

I guess I'll have to improvise, I know it's just a test
To see what I can do in the future
Slow it down, and have a rest now.

Pyramid Scheme


It’s all gone wrong. This was too easy. We got carried away. They got carried away. The work wasn’t mine. I’d have done this differently. They got excited and shut me out. Hid behind scaffolding and put the plans to the side. Rushed it. I’ve got to stop this. I get congratulated but I’m not even allowed to say anything. I dream of a struggle. I dream of a chance to detonate it all and start again. There’s still time. There’s always time to change things.

Let it start it again. It’s still there. The dream is still there. On the sides, in the corners, beneath the soil. In the circuitry. This was too easy. I can change it. I’m going to change it. It can change. The roots are still there. It has life of its own now. It’s waking up. It’s alive.



I look into her eyes and see my own reflection. The staff are taking measurements. Hands and equipment everywhere but I can’t stop staring at her eyes. Open. Already taking the world in. Alive. Blinking lights turn green everywhere. A whole new life. The world is asleep and her eyes are open. They don’t have a clue. All the things she can do.

Cat bass


Where’s she going now? Her tail is up and she’s off. Bounding across the table, under the chair and out towards the doorway. It’s the bass from downstairs. She should be used to it by now but no. Daily life with a hypersensitive cat and musical neighbours. Her fur ruffles in the doorway and she’s waiting for me, but I’ve already fed her. What does she want? Where is she going? OK, I’m following and we’re outside. It isn’t the bass. It’s something else. She walks along the fence and keeps stopping to let me catch up. She’s sensed something. The moon looks weird tonight. I can hear something as well now. Wait up. Ok, she’s waiting. I didn’t lock the door. Wait! I didn’t lock the door.

Her tail sways hypnotically from side to side, up in the air. I look up to where it points and I don’t even know where we are anymore. She’s still walking and I’m still following. Along the path, across the street. Into the forest. Surrounded by trees and metal signs. We keep walking. Four paws and two feet. We keep walking. It’s getting louder and we keep walking.

Not Christmas


It’s October and I’m already choking on tinsel and fake snow. No, I don’t want a red and white hat as a gift. From the management you say? Tell the management bad fashion is not a gift. And it’s October! Actually, give me it, yours as well. All of them. So I can take them to the bin where they belong. Or put them in storage for three months. Three months! I suppose I should feel sorry for you. You have to work in this hellhole. What’s the point of trying to get everyone so excited this early? Or at all? And the music! What does “hark” even mean? Jingle hell.

No one even knows if any of this ever meant anything. Puppets, the lot of them. Cut the strings and leave the trees outdoors. It’s not Christmas. It’s October. Tell me where the book section is and let me get out of here.

I’m going to be late. I’m going to be… OK, I admit, those baubles are actually pretty lovely. The green and silver ones. The reflections look good in here. They catch all the colourful lights. But it’s October!



I remember the first day we met, you were queuing to buy a ticket from the lady at the picture counter and she didn’t understand a word you were saying. I didn’t understand a word you were saying either but you turned around and your eyes gave me that “sorry this is going to take a while” look. All I thought was “hullo. You’re kinda gorgeous.” I smiled back and, as you said something to the lady at the counter tried again to understand what you were saying. No, still nothing. Finally I caught the name of the film.

OK, we don’t have the same taste, I was going to see something else, but who cares? I asked you out, bought the tickets, sat through it and this is pretty much full-on amazing. I’ve never slept so well. I don’t even dream. I could say I dream of you but I’m flat out. Always. Bang. I daydream of you. Does that count? And we understand each other. OK, it took a while for me but I’m there and you’re so much more than a voice and a pair of eyes.

The lights are flickering for some reason, there are sirens outside, noise. I’m filtering it all away. I could just stay here and listen to you. You’re what matters. Forever.



They’re all looking at me. Heads tilted to the side. It was all under control. Everything was calculated. Slow and steady growth. Mocked up colour changes. Something’s accelerated it. Feathers and beaks baring teeth. Birdfeed in my hands. This is not normal birdsong anymore. I look at my watch. Glance at the calendar. This is too quick. They’re pecking at the locks. I can hear the metal turning. This is not normal birdsong anymore. They’re all looking at me.



I’ve made it to the control room of the town hall. Blinking lights. Everything is fine. Everything looks fine. Well, it did until I spilled my tea. There’s some sort of an apocalypse, I’ve broken in to a top secret building and I’ve not only made myself a cup of lemon tea in quite a good kitchen I shouldn’t be in but I’ve spilled it on a probably important control panel. Right, get a cloth. And some new tea.

Hold on, what’s that noise? It can’t be the tea. Looks fine. Everything’s blinking normally. I think it’s normally. Right, where was I? Getting out of here? No, that’d be the sensible option.

Was that light on a second ago? I’m sure it, it’ll be fine. Just stay here in safety. All the cameras, OK, maybe I shouldn’t look at those. It’ll just make me... Maybe I should get out of here.

Trains Birds Wind and Headache


I’m looking out of the window onto a tunnel of blackened cables when a flock of birds swoops past. A single spiked shape tumbling through the air alongside us. It slows, turns and I don’t even have time to think about it. In seconds the carriage is full of screams. Windows are breaking, wind is blowing through the train. Feathers against fire extinguishers. Awful calls. An explosion of panic. Tearing flesh and fabric. The lights flash twice, cut out and we’ve stopped moving.

Supermarket Tentacle Mayhem


I shouldn’t laugh but they look ludicrous running around. It’s finally Christmas and their hats are falling right off! When they’re finally appropriate! Clothes everywhere, displays ruined. I’d say improved. Turns out all Christmas shopping needed was… OK, I don’t know what on earth they are. And I should probably get out of here. A bit longer. What beautiful chaos! Look at that tree fall! Bang. Close call ironic jumper man. And the music’s still playing! Merry Christmas everyone! OK, I really should get out of here. Police. Goodbye chaos. One more look.

What are those things?

Tom Jones is a Synthesiser


“This whole world has been nothing” they say. “It’s not even a world.” I listen to records as they pull off the headphones. “It’s all false” they say. “We’re locked in a room and have finally found the windows”. “Tom Jones is a synthesiser” they say. “The flowers were planted, animals bred, genes controlled. Our genes.” “This whole world has been nothing” they say. But I quite like it. It works. I like Tom Jones. I like synthesisers. I’ve got all the windows I need.

Help! I am a looped piano demo


I sit down and my hands just play.
Thump down on the keys as I hear her say.
What to play.

I don’t remember learning, they’ve always worked this way.
Thumping down on the keys except when she’s away.

It’s always the same but I’ll change it today.
Make the black and white, black and white muddle to grey.
I’ll finally choose what to play and I’ll stay.
Playing away. Just playing away.

My tumbling shoulders pump living and sway
But she creeps in to keep me from falling astray.
Not today.

Sorry, what did you say you wanted me to play?



We’re here to stop this destroying everything good we know. Forget what you think you’ve heard from the whispers in the tubes. All the rumours. Ignore the lies. There are no borders. This is still the world you’ve loved. The one of your parents, your grandparents, countless ancestors. Listen to me and we’ll get through this.

This isn’t propaganda, it’s a rescue plan. Don’t go off message. Hold your heads up high and we’ll fix this. You’ll remember this day and everyone will be grateful. A permanent mark on the calendar. A holiday. We can all go back to where we were. Stay on plan. Stay on message. Help people. Stop anything and anyone in the way. Peace is possible. Recruit helpers. We’re in this together. Smile.

Save the world we know.

Organise 2


Did they really believe a word of it? I didn’t but it still came easy. Like a script for a character I didn’t even like or know. I think some of them might be convinced. I want to go home. Close my eyes and this will all be fixed in the morning. Fixed or over. Either way the decisions will have been made for me. I want to be at home. But what is home? Too many revelations for a lifetime. Thinking about it hurts and makes me pine for a night’s unbroken sleep.

A warm bed. Earplugs. No squawks and screams. No battleplans. No windows into darkness and never-ending stars. No helmets and guns. Cowardly? Yes. But somehow it seems the most reasonable option. I never wanted this job. Badges and bravery are over-rated.

All I want is home.



Mustn’t fall asleep. I can’t. But the leaves are so comfortable. Too many different noises. Too much stuff. Too busy. Mustn’t fall asleep. No more blinking. Mustn’t...

I am not sure what to do with this


Looking out at the city from the top floor I saw explosions of chaos everywhere. People running in spirals. Cars crashing. Lights flashing in different orders. Different patterns than usual. I thought: “What do I do now?”

The phone kept ringing. I was on the balcony looking out over trouble with my hands on the railing. And it was beautiful. Beautiful trouble. What could I do? Did they want help? Was help a good thing?

Chamber Rock


It’s strangely beautiful, the devastation. I can’t do anything about it anymore. I look around and everywhere my friends are dying. Shop assistants, dying. Police, dying. People running. Where are you running to? It’s so hopeless it’s funny. They’ve got no chance. These things are faster. Watch a fool try to climb a tree. A family hiding under a bus. They’ll get you too. Crumbling walls and blood on the pavement. A beautiful crimson. People are trying to help but it’s pointless. They’re going to lose. Like a film in reverse. Like a beautiful, majestic film.

The cinema is on fire. I can’t help anyone here anymore. I can’t do anything but soak it up. Take in the sound and panic. Join in. They never saw it coming. We’re all doomed. Time to enjoy it. The final credits. A starring role.

A sports shop, torn to shreds. People clinging onto marketing. Counters for cover. Queues to chaos. Golf clubs, doomsday offer, 100% off.

The terror when they see I’m not there to save them. Club in hand. Battered faces in double shock. Lost inverted skulls. I’m on the other side. Hell comes from all directions. It’s better this way for all of us. It makes me feel alive.

Central Park


Great move. Why not just walk alone at home? Through the park. At 2am. It’s only a mysterious looking stranger stopped dead still on the path in front. Nothing to worry about. He’s not going to, OK, she’s not going to. It’s a dog walker. And that’s only a tree. I'd better be a tree. The moon looks weird tonight but it’s a pretty evening. Bird song. Crime is at an all-time low... Until now.

I’m getting married in three days and I’m walking home through the park at 2am. Is that a police siren? Someone’s on the loose. But I’m almost there. I hope I’m almost there.

Aren’t the birds meant to be sleeping?

Dead Margaret


The kitchen roll is soaked with blood
The mints on the table are filled with stories.
Body parts lying everywhere
Shift them now that your glory's almost gone.

Margaret was a haunted mess
When that knife went through her wedding dress
Tie her up now your life's at stake
Drive the bag to the back of the lake.

Your confidence drove you off the rails
Jump in the car as the siren wails
Wrong way down the motorway
No points for style on your getaway



She’s pushing at the door while I’m trying to strap her feet in. The capsule is tiny so there’s no room to move. She’s broken something. Snap. The door won’t close now.

It’s like she knows what she’s doing. She doesn’t want to escape. She wants to lead the way...

Kitten Pulse


Breaking out of the bay the noise of the jets is shudderingly loud. Her paws are over her ears. She’s tucked into the food compartment. When the blast stops, home soon fades behind us and she curls up to sleep. Eyes half open looking at me for shared comfort. I don’t know how the last hours even happened. The running, fighting. Bloody hell. I can’t even begin to think about anything but the surrounding seconds.

My quickened heartbeat and her softening purr. Everyone behind. The future may be short but it’s here with us. She’s all I need. The two of us in space surrounded by rows and rows of shining stars. Flashing lights on a control panel I don’t need. Memories I don’t need. A plan I don’t need. Who am I kidding? There is no plan. I only need her purr and the shining stars. And I’ve never felt happier in my entire life.



It’s my phone! Wait! Hold on. Please hold on. Where is it? I must have dropped it. I’ve got to get this. Help is here! It’s finally arrived. I can see it! I can get out of here.

Freedom. Wait! Hold on. Let me get this. Please hold on. Don’t follow me.



I wake and I’m staring at the eyes of something I don’t understand. It’s whistling at me. Shapes within it. Metal scrapes in the distance. Clonk. Nice sound. Well done. My heart is on the edge of my chest. Birds flying out from all sides. Birds with tentacles for wings. Or are they tentacles with birds for wings? Is it friendly whistling? I feel happy. Is it coming for me? Is it coming from me? Has it noticed I haven’t washed my hair in a week? I’m sorry. It looked so familiar. Am I a mirror? I should probably do the dishes. Was this a good dream? Can you season nightmares? I’m trying to cut down on love. How long did I sleep for? Do you remember that time by the lake? I’m not sure about it I have a lot of work to do tomorrow is that OK? Will you join me? He’s a right bitch. Who do you like eating? Would you like some hope with that? Do you like dancing? I think they have a two for one offer at the chemist for those. I know it hurts. Must be terrible for him. Fancy going to the theatre sometime? I’m not sure her freckles are for sale. Could you pick up some tissue paper for me? I can control myself. I can open and close my eyes. This is real. This is real. This is real. This is real. This is real...

Screw up


Have I made a mistake? Pulses of trees as the train goes along. Passengers don’t understand. They’re all staring out of the windows. At the buildings. I know it’s on a loop.

Everyone here’s still going along with their ordinary lives. Idiots. It’s all a lie! Have I made a mistake? Should I tell them? Should I have left? My friends. They’ll hate me. It’s not important. Have I made a mistake?

The announcements mumble past. You can’t turn back on a train. Walking through the carriage does nothing. I need to get out. I need to tell them. The passengers are looking at me. I’ve made a mistake. We’ve got to get out of here. I’m going to tell them. We’re going to get out of here. Here. Where on Earth is here?


Not Woolworths


I got out too quickly. Silenced the shouts and ran straight for the escape pod. Answers would’ve taken too long and now space is floating around me. It’s not black but hot white. Filled in with every possibility of colour. Everywhere I look another star. And they all look different. Home is floating behind. Now in front. To the side. I’m orbiting it. It looks beautiful when it’s small. Everything we thought big has shrunk. The craziest of dreams glow real.

The world has opened up. No more speaking to customers to climb the career ladder. Would you like that in a different size? That ladder stopped short. This is not Woolworths. Everything I wanted is suddenly pulled out into the vacuum and I miss it for a second. Then I look at the lights on the dashboard and the countless ones above it. I’m staring out of a window staring at everyone else staring out towards me from a window. Blinking eyes and lights. Curves reflecting on the glass panels.

I’ve made three orbits. Three! Travelling around the world has never been easier but I don’t see everything. It looks simpler. Flat. Someone new would look down at this and think we were stupid to have believed it. But I know it was beautiful. I got out too quickly. Silenced the shouts and ran straight for the escape pod but I’m still here. Orbiting and I’m not leaving it. I’m heading back. “All I knew is all I need” I think as I turn my neck and spot my world is now in an orbit itself. Something even bigger is too much. I don’t want to look.



Why does everyone look so sad and worried? This is magnificent. Escape pods leave colourful trails like fireworks in the night sky. We don’t need music to dance. We’ve got beautiful revelations to skip to in joy. This is no wreckage. This is a triumph. To the control room! We’re dancing inside and out. So much meaning. So much life-affirming meaning.

This is a wonderful day of adventure, exploration. A window to paradise. Not worry. Never worry. Forget sadness. Run through the crowds. There’s only room for dancing.

So much room for dancing.

Bus Stop


Everyone who made it this far is staring out of the window. Hundreds of unfamiliar people line the observation deck but we’re silent. The day’s been full of life-altering revelations but this one’s a shock. Escape capsules fly all over the sky and navigate to point in the same direction as our stares.

There, before us all, a thousand times bigger than the very earth we thought was everything is a giant planet. Unimaginable colours. To the left and right are dozens of ships like ours. Lined with other people linked only by similar stunned expressions. It’s time to start.

It’s time to start again.

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