Corruption is a ritualistic, slow-burning solo for multipercussion and audio by Russell Wharton. According to Wharton, this work “tells a Faustian story of unchecked ambition, unholy bargains, and unfortunate consequences.” Setting a twisted soundscape, atmospheric gestures from the “liquid triangle” intertwine with rhythmic passages played on crude instruments, such as wood slats and wine bottles. The audio accompaniment explores otherwordly sonic ideas throughout.
The heart of the piece lies within the Aztec death whistle, introduced before the climactic final section. This type of whistle was first discovered at an ancient temple in Mexico City, and mimics a ghastly shriek. The haunting sounds of all these instruments create a uniquely dark tone, fitting for this piece’s completion date of Halloween 2019. This intermediate-advanced solo is ideal for recitals or, of course, Halloween events.