Frank Rothkamm [ just 3 organs ]

The Story


In the Swiss mountain town of Sils, sometime around Easter 1979, the 13 year old Frank Rothkamm played an organ for the first time.

He was not in Sils to marvel at the location where Friedrich Nietzsche spent his summers, but to engage in some cross-country skiing with his family. It was there, halfway between the mountains and the frozen lake below, where he spotted a small village chapel. Intrigued, he knocked on the door 3 times and to his surprise it was open. Inside he found a reed organ which was unlocked, so he commenced to play J.S. Bach's "Toccata & Fugue in D-minor". It was cold, his hands were cold, and the old organ was out of tune. But, he was able to play the piece from memory and gladly held the last chord an extra long time.

As he got back on his skis to make the descent from the mountain, a different kind of organ music was racing through his mind - impressions of idiosyncratic, differently tuned, pure "Tongestalten" (tone shapes) in a reverberated space between heaven and earth.

For the next 23 years on his odyssey through Germany, Canada and the United States of America he would never play an organ keyboard again. Then on a sunny day sometime around Easter in 2002, he spotted a Yamaha Electone organ, model 205D, in a thrift store near Hollywood. Frank finally found his organ. It had been built in Japan 9 months after he played the organ for the first time in Switzerland. In an act of "Zeitgeist" his thoughts gave birth to the rise of a machine which could now materialize the impossible.

It would take another 5 years, from 2003 to 2008, of playing with 6 hands, utopian-scientific composition, and the development of a new tuning system, until he was finished with his gold record.

The Album


just 3 organs (2003-2008) is 33 minutes and 33 seconds or a 3 times 3 tracks long long-player played with 3 times 2 hands and feet on the 3 times 2 manuals and 3 pedals of 3 vintage Yamaha 205D Electone home organs each assigned a primary color and tuned a micro-tonal 33 cents apart then amplified with 3 speakers for each organ suspended in mid-air in a triangle just in front of the observer with a monophonic reverberation phantom channel circling at 3 rotations per minute between all speaker triangles.


Catalog No: FLX8 (LN6)
Title: just 3 organs
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: Holger Rothkamm
Label: Flux Records
Length: 33:29 (2009s)
Composed: 2003-2004
Location: Hollywood
Instruments: Yamaha Electone 205D
Release Date: 03/03/2008
Edition Size: 300
Format: Compact Disc
Parts: 6 panel folder(4/1)
compact disc
clear vinyl sleeve
UPC: 635961114420
File Under: electronic organ,sci-fi microtonalism,vintage concept album
PDF: rothkamm-just 3 organs-artwork.pdf

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