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Frank Patrick N.

(04. 04. 1975)

Frank Patrick N.
Frank Patrick N.
Langstrasse 10
CH-8004 Zürich
Schweiz

Tel: +41 (0)44 451 82 66
Mobile: +41 (0)79 306 28 15
Internet: www.patrickfrank.ch/site/ www.lawofquality.com

Biography
Patrick Frank was born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He studied piano with Martin Christ, music theory with Andreas Nick and composition with Thomas Müller and Isabel Mundry. He attended composition seminars with, among others, Klaus Huber, Chaya Czernowin, Manuel Hidalgo, Alvin Lucier and Peter Eötvös.
In 2002, he founded the project series traute for which he also acted as artistic director. The series' first project, SEIN/NICHTS, was performed in Zurich and Baar (Switzerland); it was chosen by the WorldNewMusic Days 2004 to be performed during the festival. In May 2006, the concert installation Limina was realised in co-production with IGNM Basle (Switzerland).
The project Limina had its successful world premiere in March 2007 at the European Center for the Arts Dresden. Frank published his first book Indifferenz in Kunst und Kultur for this project. The book has contributions by Peter Gross, sociologist, Harry Lehmann, philosopher, Isabel Mundry, composer, Frank and many others.
In 2005, he received the Werkjahr (scholarship) of the Christoph-Delz-foundation, Basle.
In 2006, the project Limina was awarded a sponsorship by the Bundeskulturstiftung/Germany.
Patrick Frank is the 2007 recipient of the Werkjahr für Komposition (sponsorship for composition) of the city of Zurich and of the 2010 Kunstpreis Zollikon (Art Award Zollikon).
Frank works as a freelance composer and creator of projects in Zurich, Switzerland. He works as scientific assistant at the Zurich University of the Arts, Institute for Critical Theory.
He studies philosophy, sociology and cultural studies at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland).


Work list
In memoriam (1999)
for piano, violin and live electronics
Duration: 7' 00"
Manuscript
RZ-gamma-I (2000)
for clarinet, horn (+ prepared horn), cello and percussion
The series of works "RZ-gamma I-III" (2000-2002) deals with the Special Theory of Relativity. Where "RZ-gamma I + II" attempts to transform the Special Theory of Relativity's gamma factor into temporal (metric and rhythmic) conditions, the transformation of the gamma factor in "RZ-gamma-III" is found in the pitches.
This resulted in the gamma tuning, which logarithmically translates the gamma factor into one octave. It is an exponentially constructed tuning that consists of 19 pitches. Because the exponential curve is very steep, the translation, which begins with the pitch A4 = 440, already leaves a 'hole' on the fifth E4 until the next octave A5 = 880. For musical reasons I therefore mirrored the tuning from A5 = 880 downwards. The whole octave is from A4 = 440 to A5 = 880.
The gamma tuning also appears in later works, but it is no longer present for the original reason, but simply because it offers interesting compositional possibilities when used in combination with tempered tuning.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
RZ-gamma-II (2001)
for saxophone quartet
The series of works "RZ-gamma I-III" (2000-2002) deals with the Special Theory of Relativity. Where "RZ-gamma I + II" attempts to transform the Special Theory of Relativity's gamma factor into temporal (metric and rhythmic) conditions, the transformation of the gamma factor in "RZ-gamma-III" is found in the pitches.
This resulted in the gamma tuning, which logarithmically translates the gamma factor into one octave. It is an exponentially constructed tuning that consists of 19 pitches. Because the exponential curve is very steep, the translation, which begins with the pitch A4 = 440, already leaves a 'hole' on the fifth E4 until the next octave A5 = 880. For musical reasons I therefore mirrored the tuning from A5 = 880 downwards. The whole octave is from A4 = 440 to A5 = 880.
The gamma tuning also appears in later works, but it is no longer present for the original reason, but simply because it offers interesting compositional possibilities when used in combination with tempered tuning.
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
RZ-gamma-III (2002)
for piano, gamma synthesizer and live electronics
The series of works "RZ-gamma I-III" (2000-2002) deals with the Special Theory of Relativity. Where "RZ-gamma I + II" attempts to transform the Special Theory of Relativity's gamma factor into temporal (metric and rhythmic) conditions, the transformation of the gamma factor in "RZ-gamma-III" is found in the pitches.
This resulted in the gamma tuning, which logarithmically translates the gamma factor into one octave. It is an exponentially constructed tuning that consists of 19 pitches. Because the exponential curve is very steep, the translation, which begins with the pitch A4 = 440, already leaves a 'hole' on the fifth E4 until the next octave A5 = 880. For musical reasons I therefore mirrored the tuning from A5 = 880 downwards. The whole octave is from A4 = 440 to A5 = 880.
The gamma tuning also appears in later works, but it is no longer present for the original reason, but simply because it offers interesting compositional possibilities when used in combination with tempered tuning.
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
SEIN/NICHTS (2002-2003)
Concert / performance / black box
for sax, vc, perc, gamma synthesizer, live electronics, black box, light
SEIN/NICHTS deals with the situation of art itself and its dissolution into various levels. Based on the classical concert situation - with the artificial objects "performer" and "musical work" - the object dissolves in the course of the performance.
The room situation around the artificial object "performer" falls apart and disappears on both a visual and a musical level. The usually passive audience becomes an active part of the performance and opens thereby the way for a further movement towards nothingness: The room becomes increasingly out of control, abutting the border of perceptibility and ultimately to the dissolving of the term "musical work". The audience remains as the centre of an art-free room.
Manuscript
Urtraute (2002)
for bass clarinet, bass flute, violin, viola, cello, piano and light installation
This is the first work that includes other media, in this case light. The extension into various media continues in the project series, finally leading into the (seemingly) opposed forms of knowledge: art (non conceptual) and theory (conceptual).
The work 'Urtraute' is an installation and not a piece of music. It abandons the level of a time shaped by a dramatic development. This time is replaced by a static time or, depending on perception and imagination, by extension, standstill or inversion of the time's direction.
Needless to say that this is purely utopian.
Static sounds do not necessarily equal standstill, the development is not apparent in the absolute (of the sounds) but is fragile and develops - if at all - freely for each individual visitor. The music shapes room and space and at the same time space and room shape the music. Silence enters into a dialogue with darkness; darkness reflects the music. The dispossession of the object opens up new space for the subject, leading to a situation where the barely visible light reflects imaginative music instead of silence. At the same time, the music can be mirrored within the head by diffused, static sound spaces, pretty much like a shadow cast before the object actually casting that shadow.
Needless to say that this is purely utopian.
Duration: 16' 00"
Manuscript
Für die Situation (2003)
for alto sax, violoncello and percussion
Composition for the SEIN/NICHTS project.
Manuscript
Für den Raum (2003)
for baritone sax/tubax, violoncello, percussion, gamma synthesizer, space, lighting
Composition for the SEIN/NICHTS project.
The work can also be performed concertante.
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
Für Nichts (2003)
for baritone sax/tubax, violoncello, percussion, gamma synthesizer, live electronics, black box, lighting
Composition for the SEIN/NICHTS project.
The work can also be performed concertante.
Duration: 16' 00"
Manuscript
Onto-Off (2003)
for violin
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Eulen (2003)
for piano and soprano
Texts: Ernst Jandl
Duration: 8' 00"
Manuscript
(.....) (2004)
for piano
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Just do it (2005)
for percussion
From the work description:
Vorwärts Marsch! (1)
Innovationen sind per se positiv, auch wenn daraus Unsinn und Überflüssiges resultiert. (2)
Aber nicht nur die Wissenschaftler beginnen sich mit der Situation der Beliebigkeit zu erfreuen. (3)
Begründungsbedürftig ist nicht das Neue, sondern das Alte, nicht die Veränderung, sondern die Wiederholung. (4)
Präzision dient als Sinnersatz. (5)
Der Pluralismus ist nicht von der Marktwirtschaft zu trennen, deren Gesetze gegenwärtig alle sozialen Bereiche erfassen und die Autonomie der Kultur radikal in Frage stellen. (6)
Nichts ist unmöglich (Toyota)
Quotes 1-5: P. Gross, Soziologe, Die Multioptionsgesellschaft (1994)
6: P.V. Zima, Soziologe, Moderne/Postmoderne (2001)
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Konzert-Installation Limina (2006)
Concert installation / light installation/ black box
for fl, cl, vn, vc, tbn, gamma synthesizer, perc, black box and 3 further rooms, light installation
The project Limina deals on an artistic theoretical level with today's art and society. Based on a change in values within the Second Modern, as analysed by social philosophers, "Der schalltote Raum" for orchestra and 7 wind instruments presents an early musical attempt at defining the problems of contemporary composition, and ultimately contemporary art itself, before an aesthetic backdrop. The concert installation follows its path. Some basic characteristics of our society become basic characteristics of the concert installation. There is not one word to explain the procedure or to create a reference between the artificial and the actual room. There is no end to the concert installation as there is no end to the quest for meaning. Subjective perception or association and memories thereof can be later placed in an everyday context through additional levels. More cannot be said at present.
"Not reflection, but forgetting; [...] not reconciliation, but droning on and on; [...] not truth finally shedding light on itself, but the streaming and distress of a language that has always already begun" Michel Foucault
Manuscript
Der schalltote Raum (2006)
for string orchestra and 7 woodwind instruments
How can the postmodernist "anything goes" problem be tackled from a compositional perspective? "Der schalltote Raum" negates that compositional element which was until the dawn of the Postmodern a sign of compositional progress: the pitch system. A differentiated pitch system is consciously avoided here; either 1 tone (and octavings) sounds alone, or all 12 of the tempered voices sound together.
The orchestra is twice silent during the piece when the music of Mozart, playing from outside a good distance away, is allowed to penetrate the concert hall - this same piece is performed in its entirety by the orchestra after "Der schalltote Raum".
A differentiated tone selection is thus present in the piece in the form of functional tonality, but it is completely alienated and as if belonging to the past.
"Der schalltote Raum" is the first work in a thematic series with a view to social indifference. The Limina project forms the continuation of this series.
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Projekt Limina (2007)
Concert installation / dance performance / symposium / book publication
for fl, cl, vn, vc, tbn, gamma synthesizer, perc, black box and 3 further rooms, light installation
Projekt Limina consists of two times two individual approaches to the topic of indifference: On an aesthetic level (KONZERT-INSTALLATION LIMINA and ACT) and on a theoretical level (a symposium and a book published by Pfau Verlag). There is no actual structure, meaning the single parts of the project are a constant result. The audience is simply present at a certain time in a certain place, while the focus lies on a heterogeneous indifference. Projekt Limina as the main concept and Konzert-Installation Limina as a part of the project mirror and represent liminality in various ways. Representatives from sociology, philosophy and art will hold lectures and take part in discussions parallel to the performances (KONZERT-INSTALLATION LIMINA and ACT). (Patrick Frank)
Manuscript
Responsorium Version 1, I-III (2007)
for ensemble
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Studie I zum Jetzt-Möglichen (2008)
for bass clarinet, violin, violoncello, double bass
Manuscript
Responsorium I-X (2008)
Study II of the now possible
for large ensemble
Texts: Fernando Pessoa, Jean Baudrillard, Ulrich Beck, Wolfgang Welsch, Peter Gross, Guy Debord
Traditionally, a responsory is the religious moralisation of the congregation through musical (non-conceptual) and textual (conceptual) media.
If one is to compose a responsory today, it is important to remember that religious authority has lost its moralising power. The question is consequently raised as to whether, in the wake of today's pluralisation and the resulting substantial increase in degrees of freedom, which in turn leads to a significant leveling of morality - morality is still tolerated by society. It is clear, however, that no society can exist without morality; what are the moralising forces of today? What role does the art play?
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Non Cogito, ergo sum (2009)
for violoncello
i give one – and i get out two: thats fucking great!
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Das Meisterwerk - The Masterpiece, Version I (2010)
Study III for the Now-Possible
for piano and trombone
Vor Allem und zuerst die Werke!
Das heisst Übung, Übung, Übung!
Der dazugehörige "Glaube" wird sich schon einstellen,
– dessen seid versichert!
(Friedrich Nietzsche, Morgenröthe)
Then, I say, let us first and foremost have works!
And this means practice! Practice! Practice!
The necessary faith will come later - be certain of that!
(Friedrich Nietzsche, Dawn of Day)

Is Das Meisterwerk / The Masterpiece a masterpiece? What is a masterpiece, anyway? A masterpiece is usually considered to be ahead of its time, foreseeing and anticipating certain cultural developments. In order to be able to accomplish that, the present has first to be observed and reflected upon.

Art in Modernism is largely autonomous and has been liberated from a direct specific purpose. Therefore, it seemed particularly adequate to describe social conditions in a condensed form. It can be assumed that art's social function could and can be found in descriptions of the present and, even though less frequently, in anticipation of future social conditions. That can be said for the theory – the reality in music seems to appear quite differently.

Let's assume that New Music would predominantly produce "naïve" music. The meaning of naïve being here, that New Music uses the freedom achieved in postmodernism in a naïve way instead of embedding it reflectively. (Postmodernism's biggest subsequent problem is its handling of freedom, not only in arts. The naïve way in which freedom is handled could easily be used to describe many global hot spots.)

But what would happen if unexpectedly a "masterpiece" would be composed? Would it emerge out of the fog of the "naïve" New Music and shine all in its lonesome? That would hardly happen – "naïve" music's indifference equally captivates the (potential) difference of a "reflective" piece of art. There is little chance of a masterpiece being created in the current state of New Music – or only as a "naïve" masterpiece. As a masterpiece acting like a masterpiece. Whereas in fact, it is a bogus masterpiece.

By looking at which masterpieces are declared as such it becomes apparent on which differentiation our culture focuses on. If a bogus masterpiece would be elevated to the status of a masterpiece, bogus (or simulation) would become our new leading difference. But is a simulation able to speak, or can only an original do that?

By the way: The constant changing of the name already shows the problem of freedom. In the past, New Music was called "new" because one could expect something "new". The name "New Music" includes a compositional programme. During the postmodern era, the name "New Music" was criticised; the terms "contemporary" or "current" music were favoured. There was a reason for this: The logic of advancements regarding materials came to a standstill; subsequently, nothing "new" could be expected anymore.
The insecurity regarding the naming is reflective of the insecurity left behind by the postmodern freedom.
Manuscript
Die Ekstase (2010)
for voice, piano and light
Part of the project 'Wir sind aussergewöhnlich'.
Can also be performed concertante without the light element.

The work is based on Baudrillard's concept of the ecstatic society described by him as such in his book "Fatal Strategies". The central thesis of the ecstatic society is the observation that all contents are only pseudo contents. This can be proved empirically wherever opposites are interchangeable. Real contents offer resistance and are "hot"; pseudo contents are interchangeable and "cool". "Upgrading" the surface compensates the unreality. The more grandiose and spectacular the surface, the better this lack of content can be concealed.
Wherever there is nothing left, some sort of overabundance results. (Baudrillard)
In regard to the composition I tried to depict the unreality. I wanted to create some sort of pseudo music: pseudo polyphony, pseudo expressivity, pseudo complexity. However – if Baudrillard's observation is correct, namely that all content is indifferent, then this means for this work: It cannot be determined if the music really is music or only pseudo music.
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
the law of quality (2011)
for piano and voice / performer (work of music), quality founder (buyer of the art work) and press
Capitalism and its primary medium - money - is most effective when monetary value becomes moral value and both merge into one.
Google's search algorithm is an ideal example. It prefers quantities: a website is ranked higher up in the search results if it is linked to other well-linked websites. Linking is therefore more important than the content of the link.
Wikipedia explains it as follows:
Link Popularity is a measure of the number and quality of links that point to a website. The more frequently a site is linked, the higher the link popularity of this page.
Quantity and quality are remorselessly set as equals: The quality of (hyper)links measured by frequency of linking becomes a topic.
A result of this logic is an increase in communication of communicating nothing (Georg Seesslen "Blödmaschinen"). Or as put aptly into words by Jean Baudrillard in the 80ies: Wherever there is nothing left a kind of abundance arises (Fatal Strategies).
Manuscript
wir sind aussergewöhnlich (2013)
Discourse concert
for tenor and piano
Postmodernism with its credo "anything goes" is over. What's next? In the project "wir sind aussergewöhnlich" we take a closer look behind the omnipresent headlines about various crises. The present is analysed by means of a musical and theoretical language in 3 acts on the topics of "quantification", "populism" and "subversion".
The exceptional has become commonplace. This is the drawback of social and ideological pluralism, which we rightfully defend: the more people of different cultural background live next to each other - and together, the more individuals have to exercise themselves in the virtue of tolerance. Pluralism is an expression and index of a society's liberality. If pluralism however turns into tolerance towards indifference, and therefore turns into indifference towards the form of tolerance, towards an unlimited social diversity, it can lead to a fatal self destruction of societal pluralism: Pluralism resolves itself and alters into indifference. This development will most likely be nurtured by the opponents of pluralism - they are the profiteers of pluralism's tragic defencelessness. They have the old faces of intolerance and hostility towards others. Pluralism is a quality, culturing and supporting diversity instead of governing multitude. Once diversity is lost, the world will be perceived in quantities and numbers only, and not in distinctive characteristics: the change from quality to quantity is thereby finalised.
Manuscript
Repertory
Patrick N. Frank: RZ-gamma-III for piano, gamma synthesizer and live electronics
Diskographie
Bibliography
Frank, Patrick N.: Braucht Neue Musik vermittlung?, in: Dissonanz 93 (2006) [Internet]
Frank, Patrick N.: Der Steigerungsprozess in der Komposition, in: Sophist 1 (2008) [Internet]
Frank, Patrick N.: Widerstand: Kritik. Thesen und Forderungen, in: Dissonanz 105 (2009) [Internet]
Frank, Patrick N.: Kontroverse als Therapie. Replik zur Debatte um die Digitalisierung der Neuen Musik, in: Musiktexte 125 (2010) [Internet]
Nolte, Lisa D.: Abgerundete Diskurs-Show. Patrick N. Franks Projekt "Wir sind aussergewöhnlich, Version II" in der Gessnerallee Zürich (20. bis 23. März 2014), in: Dissonanz (Juni 2014) 126 (2014), S. 40-41 [Internet]
Möller, Torsten: Quantität ist Qualität. Das Projekt "the law of quality", in: Dissonanz 116 (2012) [Internet]
Kunkel, Michael: Gemeinde ohne Moral? Patrick N. Franks Arbeit am Indifferenten, in: Dissonanz 116 (2011) [Internet]
Wie kann ich Bewusstsein schaffen?, in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (30. Juli 2007) (2007) [Internet]