Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen
soprano, vc, fixed electronics
2012, rev. 2013
Commissioned by Network for New Music
Premiered by Sarah Davis and Michal Schmidt, Oct 12, 2012, Annenberg Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Text by Friederich Rückert
Throughout history, a common response to the complexity of human civilization has been an ascetic urge: to withdraw from society and lead a simpler life. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (“I am lost to the world”) presents and questions this timeless desire anew. Borrowing the Friederich Rückert text and a few musical quotations from Mahler’s orchestral song of the same title, the piece opens a window to a strange society of three parties – soprano, cello, and electronics – who attempt, slowly and paradoxically, to both integrate themselves with and isolate themselves from one another.
The stereo electronic track is almost entirely made from recordings of 100 individual frequencies played on the viola da gamba. These samples are combined, processed, and manipulated to sound as though an orchestra of viola da gambas is moving slowly throughout an irregularly-shaped cathedral space. Electronic track and Max patch (optional; aids synchronization in performance) are available upon request.