Album: Wiener Process
Author: STEPHEN FRUITMAN
Publication: Igloo Mag
Date: 12/18/2015

Frank Rothkamm (b. 1965) is a multimedia behemoth (spend some time poring over his biography), a German émigré living in Los Angeles after a brief stay in British Columbia. Wiener Process is his new, remarkably compact, long duration masterpiece. Twenty-four hours drawn out over twenty-four compact discs, moments germinated inside a single algorithm and nurtured into being in a studio situated in his enchanting sounding Lodge for Utopian Science in View Park, California.

It is non-referential music, bound by nothing, even though it roots plumb deep into the history of ambient and generative music. Named after Norbert Wiener, the American universal genius whose research in stochastics and noise processes partly inspired him (Rothkamm suffers from chronic tinnitus), the process resulted in the gentlest hiss (the first and last discs are in fact hour-long fades-in and -out) and drone, across the noisiest ambient and most ambient of noise, to silly-puttied orchestrations and field recordings. In philosophical terms, he explains, it “draws heavily on…uniform random distribution and borrows notions from quantum mechanics and psychoacoustics… I simply used the Scottish philosopher David Hume’s skepticism on causality as a starting point and ended up with the Austrian physicist and philosopher Ludwig Boltzmann’s hypothesized self-aware entity.”

The composition process and all its theoretical and musical hard and software are almost too much for this middling mind and can be delved into online. The music is available as a datastream or a download, since the Lucite box set designed for collectors, a mere twenty-four of them, may be out of reach. La Monte Young and Marina Zazeela built music a dream house in which to live, Brian Eno dreams of self-generation and the 10,000 year long now, and Frank Rothkamm has created an objet d´art in the form of a musical solar day, even though he refers to it as “music that has no time.”

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