Frank Rothkamm [ Two Triangles ]

“Two Triangles” is a realization of soft edged formalist computer music. Random static tones come and go, get denser and then return to a few tones just like in a triangular shaped distribution. “Two Triangles” has two of them, but it’s not clear where one ends and the other one begins. In the end it’s not quite clear if the “Two Triangles” album ever ends, there could just be a random tone still waiting to sound. Nothing memorable happens over the course of the half hour, so listening to “Two Triangles” again, perhaps to arrive at the mystical heights of 3 triangles, is like listening to a new album. Every next tone is unpredictably random and some are spaced so far apart that not much is remembered. To understand, to learn the piece, takes many attentive listens, but the music disappears too fast into the background, only to reassert itself with un-memorable random piles, like a mikado set. “Two Triangles” seems like the antidote to the adverse effects of memorable music, whose sonic artifacts attempt to invade our brains, to infect us. “Two Triangles” clears the mind. We are not attached to it, there is nothing to like or dislike in the sense that there is nothing that arouses the emotions and nothing that calms them either. Like any antidote “Two Triangles” counteracts until a state of normality is reached, its primary effect is that of neutrality. The tones that come and go have no meaning in them, but they do not have to. Things, in and by themselves, have no meaning, unless we attach it to them. Meaning happens through repetition, when we perceive a pattern. The anticipation and then fulfillment of a pattern releases dopamine in the brain, and the process is amplified through a feedback mechanism. But, the same mechanism can also trigger anger and fear. “Two Triangles” is free from patterns and feedback mechanisms but it also doesn’t fall into the trap of worshipping silence, of making something out of nothing. The tones are neutral, not abrasive or pleasing, the spaces between tones are not revelations, but just long enough not to remember. This is the psycho-stochastic effect. The process of adding to empty space without having it collapse. Like in Mikado, the random arrangement is eliminated slowly by taking out the least load bearing stick, the one that has the least amount of attachment to the random world it is part of. If “Two Triangles” were to be anything, it is perhaps about avoiding to set off the psychosomatic trigger mechanism that leads to patterns, meaning, and attachment.


   
Catalog No: FLX54 (LN398)
Title: Two Triangles
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: Holger Rothkamm
Label: Flux Records
Length: 30:04 (1804s)
Composed: 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Instruments: Python
Csound
Release Date: 06/24/2018
Format: Digital
Tags: csound
ambient
 
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