Album: Opus Spongebobicum
Author: Jo Vanderwegen
Publication: Gonzo Circus (source)
Date: 11/17/2008

Rothkamm tackles his work thoroughly, as evidenced by the conceptually strongly developed ideas behind his new album Opus Spongebobicum ?? is hiding. Forty miniatures for piano solo, with a total playing time of only thirty-five minutes. The actual recording of the work arose through a computer. After all, Rothkamm mainly worked out the compositions on his PC and then had them performed by a digital piano. In the end, the piano sound seems very realistic: by changing some frequency characteristics during mastering and also allowing some analogue noise, one would (almost) swear that it is an ordinary piano recording. The music on ?? Opus Spongebobicum ?? shares the same, remarkable, characteristics: the short compositions are full of traditional effects, modulations, all kinds of melodic turns and tension elements that are typically used in the tradition of so-called serious music; occasionally the impression is created that it is even about improvisation. But with attentive listening it is immediately noticeable that the musical themes have a lot less to it than is usually the case in classical music. So Rothkamm plays a sophisticated game of bluff poker with the listener. Depending on his practical musical knowledge, he is overwhelmed or sees through the smokescreen. And that makes the circle: an episode of Spongebob Squarepants also experiences an adult very different from a child.

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