KARMA IS A CRUEL MISTRESS, audio-visual performance
Brad Decker - contrabass and computer
Zlatko Ćosić - videos, live processing, documentation and editing
"Karma is a Cruel Mistress", for contrabass and computer, 2017 - Brad Decker
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, School of Music, Music Building Auditorium, October 26, 2017
Karma is a Cruel Mistress, if she exists.
Brad Decker began this work after the November 2016 election, but it soon evolved into a reflection upon modern life. We are taught to believe that there is a balance between good and evil. Is that so? Do love and hate have a symbiotic relationship? Beauty can be found in a world of dark, dissonant moments. This essence is our source of hope.
The bass is out of tune because the world is imperfect. A and G strings have been detuned a quarter flat. This creates interesting relationships between harmonic overtones for each string, and certain portions of the piece exploit these dyads. The detuning can be overcome by adjusting fingering position of traditional notes on the double bass, however harmonic overtones don’t lie. They expose the true dissonance that lies beneath. The computer portion of the piece is a hybrid of live processing and pre-composed samples. At some points, all three elements (live processing, prerecorded sounds, double bass performance) are combined. Sometimes the double bass is alone. Digital elements linger.
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