The Great Kat’s Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed
The Great Kat’s Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed (The Bureau of Electronic Publishing) has as a subtitle “A Twisted Interpretation of Classical Music Through the Eyes of the Great Kat.” What’s most surprising about this disc, therefore, is how much of it is not particularly twisted – most of it is fairly tame. There are entire sections on instruments commonly used in classical music, and sections on the composers who wrote the music being discussed, that pass without a hint of weirdness. There are press clippings that put The Great Kat in perspective (a young woman who studied violin at Juilliard until she discovered electric guitar, the self-proclaimed “Great Kat” renders herself fairly unfrightening by admitting her humble roots and by including interviews that reveal a self-mocking sense of humor). It’s also worth noting that her frequently-used obscenities are all presented in comic-booky, @#!%! fashion – so how nasty could she really be? Then, of course, comes the wackiness – the “cyberspeed,” if you will – of Kat TV and Kat Interactive. The former allows her to do a sort of Robin Byrd number, poking fun at late-night TV, and the latter is a collection of the audio recordings that originally inspired this CD-ROM. It seems Kat has taken a bunch of classical standards and rearranged them for a feedback-wailing electric guitar and drumbeats that use the bass pedal on every beat of every measure. Then, just for kicks, she made them double-time. The result is beguilingly musical heavy metal, and reveals the intended audience of this disc as the Beavis and Butthead range of 9 to 14 year-olds. It’s fully possible that this bizarre hybrid of styles will appeal to kids more than a straight take on classical music – but more than nothing is not necessarily very much, and there’s not a lot here to occupy kids for much more than a single exploration.
– December 1995