Program Note

The Roman poet Juvenal coined the term “panem et circenses” as a slogan to describe the rise of society’s self indulgence and pettiness over heroism and civic duty. During Juvenal’s lifetime, the Roman government enacted several initiatives to keep the electorate docile and uninformed, most famously the provision of free cheap food and entertainment for all.

Today, the mainstream media has taken to entertaining the masses at the expense of journalistic integrity. To enable networks to sell advertising time slots at a profit, cable news anchors are tasked with keeping viewers interested in a story (regardless of factual information) as it unfolds in real-time. Methods vary, but pundits typically brandish hyperbolic expressions and emotional pandering to keep us tuned in.

Counterpundit reflects on this media packaged political atmosphere through contrasting layers of lyrical and brash live electronic polyphony in tandem with video images of Gulf War era professional wrestling. The wrestling source material is laden with vivid patriarchal hegemony and clownish stereotypes, which is not unlike the personas adopted by the punditry class. The resulting two-dimensional fantasy world is both sustained and defied by the pianist in an effort to mirror our complex relationship with the media we consume.

About Ian Dicke

Ian Dicke is a composer inspired by social-political culture and interactive technology. Active in a diverse array of genres and multi-media, Dicke’s music exhibits a clarity of expression while integrating…