Frank Rothkamm – Opus Spongebobicum

Frank Rothkamm

CD – Flux
Frank Rothkamm is always surprising, attaching curious anecdotes to his projects, which are sometimes biographical, or – as in this case – focused more on the genesis of his work and ideas, creating compositions based on clearly conceptual mental processes. ‘Opus Spongebobicum’ although recorded with a digital Casio Privia PX-100 and Cubase, is, on first listening, a purely traditional piano album. Originally each variation was designed to be 33 minutes long and repeated 32 times (just like the Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli variations’). After recording 20 of these variations of about half an hour, the approach was adjusted to one minute passages. Overall, the project consists of 40 Midi segments, which were all recorded at night during a period of around two years. The recording stage was followed by editing hundreds of corrections and interpretative sections – a process that would have been very difficult without technological aids. As a final touch, the sound has been made as realistic as possible through the use of frequency curves and a ‘vintage’ compression. We hear a mix of piano techniques, harmonies, melodies, historical avant-garde and romantic tunes. New classicality reworked for contemporary habits.