Frank Rothkamm [ Ghost of New York ]

What philosopher has not
At one time or another
Cut the queerest figure imaginable,
Between the affirmations of a reasonable
And firmly convinced eye-witness,
And the inner resistance
Of insurmountable doubt?

In northern Manhattan in the city of New York the apartment was on the first floor. It faced both a small courtyard and Fort Washington Avenue. It received very little sunlight and people walked by day and night to get to the subway a few blocks up the street. We put architects' drafting paper on all the windows to let in light but also to block out any intruding views. It felt like living in a New York that is permanently covered in snow, similar to the ground floors in Venice that are permanently under water.

We woke up in the middle of the night and could only see a faint glow of the white windows lit up by the street lights. No matter what time of the night, it was always the same. We had to listen to know what is going on. There was a bar across the street and depending on the slur and agitation of voices we could tell time. But after 2 o'clock there were no longer any clear indications. There were only small noises. Footsteps, water flowing down pipes, mice walking in walls, insects crawling.

The realm of the shadows is the paradise for dreamers.
Here they find a country without limits,
Where they can continue to build as they please.

The world of shadows is the world of shapes we have to interpret, they are not the thing itself, but silhouettes of what we assume to be for real. The world can have no shadows, but shadows have a world from which they are only signs of.

Clearly, the music of the world of shadows escapes our system of 12 fixed pitches that evenly divide the octave unless we desire to read between the lines. The music of ghosts is located here, in the movement from one pitch to the next, in the ambivalence of moments when one note has been left and the next one is not quite yet reached.

This we might call Antediluvian. It is a pre-music that distinguishes itself from meta-music - a music about music - because it appears to exist prior to music, a priori, and thus lacking experience. Just as we know nothing outside of our experience, we may conclude that the Ghost of New York weaves in and out of the framework of experience itself.

To truly understand what we experience it is necessary to see, but not with our physical eyes. To see beyond the physical experience of sight, with its spectra of light, we must "see" the music, but with the inner eye that is located inside our head.

The music of the Ghost of New York is projected inside the listener's head. In polar opposition to the common illusionary stereophonic projections which take place between 2 speakers and extend this via reverb into the distance, this ghostly music moves - reverbless and purely through frequency modulation - between the speakers and extends outwards, reaching for the listener's brain.

Thence originated the present music,
Which, we flatter ourselves,
Will fully satisfy the listener;
For the main part he will not understand,
Another part he will not believe,
And the rest he will laugh at.


* Derived from Immanual Kant "Dreams of a Spirit-Seer"

Catalog No: FLX11 (LN16)
Title: Ghost of New York
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: Nina Schneider
Holger Rothkamm
Label: Flux Records
Length: 33:29 (2009s)
Composed: 2005-2006
Location: New York
Instruments: Formula
Yamaha TX7
Release Date: 10/10/2009
Edition Size: 200
Format: Compact Disc
Parts: 2 panel folder(4/4)
2 panel tray card(4/4)
compact disc
clear case
File Under: pure electronic
PDF: rothkamm-Ghost of New York-Concept.pdf
rothkamm-Ghost of New York-artwork.pdf
rothkamm-Ghost of New York.pdf

° 2520 Cimarron Street °
Los Angeles, CA 90018 ° USA