Daniel Rothman

NEA Fellowship

Sense Absence

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Author: Daniel Rothman
Credits: rothman/tzanetopoulos

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Sense  Absence (2004) is a sound & light installation created for the Weserburg Museum Bremen, Germany.

Composing for strings has always been a process of discovery for me, with their infinite tuning possibilities that produce subtle harmonies and timbres of great nuance and beauty.  These considerations influenced the unsual tuning system I devised, which produces a great variety of close and wide intervals with natural harmonics.  The music's structure is therefore like inhabiting a building whose rooms always seem different as light changes throughout the day and through the seasons.  It was with this in mind that the music was the source for the sound & light installation for the Hans Otte Raum in the Weserburg Museum Bremen, Germany: as Bremen's autumn and winter daylight diminished outside, the Hans Otte Raum inside was suffused in a constant rotation of light created by Paul Tzanetopoulos.  Gradually, over the course of three months, the rotation of light will change in silence but for an ephemeral musical gesture.  On this page and the following showcase pages are excerpts of the work; excerpt 1 and 3 illustrate the effect of gradually diminishing music with similar material, while excerpt 2 is a contrasting section.

The title, Sense  Absence, refers to a process of making sense over a long period that gradually becomes characterized by absence.

The recording was made at Radio Bremen by the Montréal-based Quatuor Bozzini, which has released it as a CD.

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