Album: Wiener Process
Author: Frans de Waard
Publication: Vital Weekly
As stretched as they come, luckily not on a daily basis, there is during the twenty-four hours of 'Wiener Process' lots and lots to think about. Here are lots and lots of notes. I hope.
1. While playing disc one I thought, 'oh no, this is super minimal and nothing is going to happen in the next 24 hours'. It consists of just a very low-end tone, which didn't seem to change. Let's quick try another one, number 12, and see what happened in between. A lot actually, since here we have something vaguely orchestral. Let's go back to disc two.
2. Checking the online data stream, I think one just pops in somewhere and it's playing from there on, maybe in a loop?
3. One could decide not to play this at all, and just have the box on display on your coffee table. It looks great. Transparent, with neat stack on CDRs and a print on them. On every CDR the number left out that is the number of the disc.
4. This is one piece of music. The first hour is just the fade in, the extended fade in of one hour. Already in the second hour things change.
5. Is everything that I read about Frank Rothkamm really true? Married three times, and appeared with his second wife in Playboy magazine? Composing two soundtracks for George Lucas' 'Star wars 3D' trailers? Licencing the Flux Records (his label) catalogue to ringtone providers? The destruction of his archive in a fire, but he released his 'first syntheastic film […] after he passed out on a flight from New York to Copenhagen.
6. Something the switch from one CDR to another seems quite abrupt.
7. Rothkamm suffers from tinnitus and following that diagnosis he formulated "psychostochchastics as a reserach discipline and methods of composition. The first public result is 'Wiener Process', a 24 hour 24 part Csound score written in 3 computer languages'.
8. Twenty-four separate pieces?
9. Field recordings. Ocean waves. (disc 05)
10. By the time I reached disc 08 I knew it was not one piece, but twenty-four different ones. This one was particular 'orchestral', with string and wind instruments clearly recognizable but stretched out a bit.
11. From 10. follows that what it says on the press text that it 'is designed for low-volume headphone listening can co-exist with any other music or sound environment or simply function as auditory clock' didn't work for well. I tried listening to this with headphones and while listening to other music, and/or watching a movie, and indeed I can imagine that for some of these parts in this box it would maybe work, but not for the one I just heard.
12. Minimalism is taken to a new height here I would think. Not just of the massive amount of music, even when that has been done before (and more of course), but also in the actual pieces itself. In many of these the influence of modern classical music is very clear, but it's all curiously stretched out. It sometimes reminded me of Phil Niblock but then stripped down.
13. When I reached number 17 I had this feeling that I should have taken in account that maybe, just maybe I was supposed to listen to this as if it was a day. So number 1 at twelve o'clock at night, very quiet, and during the day I had classical music, computer music and such like, and now it's 16:00 to 17:00 and I am listening to the droning of a stoove? Maybe it's dinnertime? And while eating - an hour later - there is more classical music, followed by an hour of more intense computer music.
14. Just what has 'Vienna' (Wien!) got to do with this, I was thinking? Is there something connection to the music and the city? Maybe there is the ghost of Schonberg, Berg and Webern in some of these pieces?; or is there any other connection to the world of modern classical music.
15. Towards the end, it's evening time by now, we have a couple of 'louder' discs, with heavy drone music - not noise in the traditional sense of course, but compared to some of the other discs, surely quite heavy.
16. Number 23 is three seconds longer than any of the other discs, which clock in at exactly sixty minutes. I am sure we should not read anything in that.
17. And then 24... everything is quiet again. Now what? I didn't play this box in one go, one day, one cycle of 24 hours, but now what? Have this on repeat for eternity? Or pick my favourites - surely the more abstract computer ones, some of the orchestral ones, which were minimal drone affairs and the very quiet ones and put those on repeat? Or never play this again and leave it on my (imaginary) coffee table?
18. Some many considerations.
19. To be followed? Perhaps not. Better not. Probably.
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