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Ginnungagap

for amplified contrabass and fixed stereo audio​


Ginnungagap (GIN-oon-gah-GAHP) is the primordial abyss that preceded all things in Norse mythology. Another interpretation of the term is a magical, creative, and power-filled space. In the Norse creation story, this void is where the ice, rime, rain, and intense cold of Niflheim (NIF-uhl-heym), the ice world, clashed with the sparks, heat, and light of Muspelheim (MOO-spel-heym), the realm of fire. This void is also thought of as the place where the cosmos will collapse in on itself, during Ragnarok. This entire cycle is known as the “Twilight of the Gods,” and is where the universe will be reborn again in an endless cycle.

Most people are familiar with the story of Genesis, the first book of the Judeo-Christian Bible. The Earth had no shape, was empty, and deprived of light. The contrast between order and chaos is at the heart of society. These concepts of innangard(order) and utangard(chaos) are also a founding fabric of Norse mythology. Indeed, the ideas of law and order versus anarchy and discord are essential to our views of the internal and external universe. In a way, one could contrive that these contrasting concepts apply equally to life and death, among an infinite number of other disparities.

This piece attempts to tread the line between this dichotomy. It is impossible to completely walk this line, and in fact, I believe the only piece that can come close to this idea is John Cage’s 4’33”, or perhaps 0’00”. The presence of organized sound takes away the factor of utangard; however as a citizen of innangard, I am forced to accept this design flaw. While composing this music, I made conscious decisions in the selection and corruption of source material, and although these decisions were planned, certain phenomena of the audio, especially the electronics, were unpredictable, especially the timing between the audio and bass. That is the quintessence of Ginnungagap.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Cory Brodack
                                                                                                                                                                                         February 2018


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