Karlheinz Stockhausen - OCTOPHONIE
  Year :   1990
  Location :   Germany
  Worktype :   Electronic Composition
  Materials:   www.stockhausen.org - all material copyrighted by the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kuerten, Germany
  Info :   WDR

  Work Details  
  Oktophonie is a 69-minute multichannel tape piece which, in theory, could also do without a score. However, faithful to his long-standing tradition of creating beautiful realization scores, Stockhausen has carefully notated every musical and technical detail of Oktophonie to a excruciating definition level. The score has also a long introduction (32 pages almost entirely repeated twice, in German and in English) in which the process of creating and reproducing the music is described at length. Thus, we may think that this is a good example of an electronic music work sufficiently described to reconstruct the piece forever and ever. However, a deeper look (and even more, an attempt at reconstructing the piece) will unveil a few dark spots like the passing references to technology and software such as the now-legendary Atari 1040ST, the QUEG (Quadraphonic Effect Generator) and the Notator version 2.2 sequencer software. These references are completed only by photographic evidence — cf. Fig. 1, which unfortunately will not say much about the inner workings of these devices. The rest of the technical introduction contains a schematic description of the production system (cf. Fig. 2 — please note the reference to the “Notator diskettes”, with no further information of their contents), and the timings and dynamics of every track in every section. We are at a loss concerning the description of how the QUEG used to handle sound spatialization (inter-channel interpolation, measured amplitude ranges, etc.). The only reference on the web (3) does not help much either. The Atari 1040ST has become a true museum piece (4) and the company itself has long since gone into more profitable businesses. Emagic GmbH stopped supporting the Atari platform at the beginning of the new century and was bought by Apple Inc. in 2002. The company has refused to release the source code or the binaries of the Notator program claiming that “it could steal potential Notator Logic customers” (5) — so any form of data based on the Notator Sequencer running on an Atari platform is basically lost. Concerning this last point, there is only one chance: there is a a (possibly still on-going) voluntary community of affectionate Notator users which may help out with the diskettes (this is important because it shows a clear case on a central issue in memory conservation — the power of communities versus the unreliability of companies) .69 min Accessed 11.12.06 from http://cec.concordia.ca/.../8_3/bernardini_vidolin.html