Frank Rothkamm [ Hillary Crossing the Delaware ]

On the night on Tuesday, November 8th in the year 2016, A.D., I wrote a 16 bar loop for 7 instrumental groups that were housed in the Emu Proteus/2 orchestral hardware computer, then just acquired from the estate of the late L.A. genius Andrew Gold. It still contained setups with certain selections of instruments.

It was very late into the night then, way past the point of uncertainty that an unlikely candidate would be the president-elect of the United States of America. The orchestral loop was recorded rather carelessly with all the emotions of improvisation but none of the rational considerations of composition. However, I did revive and immediately applied an ancient invention of mine, the magic of unsynchronized loops that I first implemented in the “Futileness of North America” (1987). I’m not sure that “futileness” amounts to an acceptable substantive in the English language, but the technique is based on the deconstruction of time: In the temporal-spatial domain of an orchestral score a loop is to be found, whereby the defining characteristic of a loop is a seamless transition from the end to its own beginning, just like a dog chasing its own tail or like an ouroboros, which is Ancient Greek for a tail-devouring snake.

Then, starting at the top of the score, each successive instrument’s loop is to be shortened by one time unit. So, as each loop is one time interval shorter than its preceding one, a grandiose simultaneity of now de-synchronized loops will occur which will not sync up until a very long time has passed, which in some instances can take millennia.

I also took the liberty of slowing down the tempo of the score by a factor of 4 because, as with any traumatic event, the slow motion reveals details that go to the core of a hermetic understanding, as if one would observe with a magnifying glass the same events over and over again, with each part repeating at a different rate. Given enough time, all possible combinations should be revealed. Here however, the 2 string sections sync up for the first time at 25:48 and this a good time to conclude the piece.

As the process of composition went on I changed all the instrument colors but one from Andrew’s setup, and it became clear that this is not about the president-elect but all about Hillary, allegorically perhaps in the same way as it was George Washington’s ordeal to cross the river Delaware in 1776. Now, exactly 240 years later, it was Hillary’s time.

“Hillary Crossing the Delaware” is a planetary form of polyphony, as old as the discovery of the concept of ratio, either between vibrations per second or as the speed of rotations between planets. To fully behold its wonders, one is drawn to the ancient belief that the rotation of the planets, the music of the spheres makes manifest destinies from sea to shining sea.


   
Catalog No: FLX70 (LN457)
Title: Hillary Crossing the Delaware
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
Holger Rothkamm
Label: Flux Records
Length: 25:48 (1548s)
Composed: 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Instruments: Atari Cubase 2.0
Emu Proteus/2
Release Date: 11/16/2016
Format: Digital
Tags: Classical
 
11/2016
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