CYBERISTAN: The Electro-Acoustic Music of Ken Walicki
Dr. Ken Walicki is an American composer and director of the Composition Program at California State University, Fullerton. He is widely recognized and acknowledged for his dramatic and engaging music, often using innovative instrumentation. Walicki was one of the first composers to use turntables in his music.
Walicki conveys the effects of globalization and increasing dependency on technology with CYBERISTAN, a Ravello Records release. Each piece contains its own environment and its own space. The natural acoustic sounds juxtaposed against man-made sounds of electronic instrumentation supports a dichotomy of two worlds vying for supremacy but inevitably merging into one homogenous identity. The compositions invoke many aspects of such a state, such as the spacious elegance of Black Water and the eponymous Cyberistan, the airy and hopeful Sabah, the verbose call and response of the bass and electronics in Light and a more primal piece, nada Brahma, commissioned and composed for the Kronos Quartet.
Walicki brilliantly captures the awe of the exotic and contrasts it elegantly with the foreboding nature of modernity. In its entirety, CYBERISTAN is a snapshot of a world that is slowly succumbing to an indifferent sameness through a more connected, yet dehumanized world.