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( 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2369 Electronic Study I Electronic Composition Germany 1953 WDR images/works/Stockhausen-1954-study.jpg Study I (Summer, 1953) is the first composition to use sine tones. The tone colorings for the composition are produced from simple, electro-acoustic materials, whose assembly is determined by the composer. The consciously musical ordering penetrates to the nucleo-acoustic area of sound materials. Another fundamental method for producing sounds electronically, not based on adding sine waves to ‹stationary sounds› and ‹sound mixing,› relies on dividing ‹white noise.› This requires the use of electric filters which permit a dividing of ‹white noise› into sound waves of any frequency range and density—comparable to a prismatic dividing of white light into bands of color. Because of the lack of differentiated filtering systems, in Study II a special process for producing non-stationary sound occurrences was used. This made it possible to include the entire family of sounds in the compositions. Instead of the strangest and most unlikely sounds, sought after even more was the outermost uniformity of sound materials and their form. (Source: Program WDR Köln Musik der Zeit , 1954, quote in Karlheinz Stockhausen, Texte, Band 2 (3. unaltered edition), DuMont: Cologne, 1988). Accessed 11.12.06 from audio/Stockhausen-1953-study1.mp3 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2370 Electronic Study II Electronic Composition Germany 1954 WDR images/works/Stockhausen-1954-study2.jpg In further developing Arnold Schönberg’s twelve-tone technique, promoted by his students Alban Berg and Anton von Webern, not only should pitch and pitch duration be aligned, but now too, the mathematically-deducible details of tone coloring for the structure of the piece. Karlheinz Stockhausen. Accessed 11.12.06 from 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2371 GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE Electronic Composition Germany 1956 WDR (West German Radio) in Cologne images/works/Stockhausen-1956-Gesang.jpg It is the first work of four-channel spatial music with composed directions and movements of the sound all around the audience. For the first time electronic music is combined with speech (the praising of God in the Song of the Youths in the fiery furnace from the 3rd book of Daniel). A twelve-year-old boy sang all of the syllables and tones which Stockhausen composed together with the electronic sounds. The world première ended in a legendary scandal, which is documented in many protests in all the media and which led to a lawsuit of a popular music critic against the WDR. 13 min. 14 sec audio/Stockhausen-1956-Gesang.mp3 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2372 KONTAKTE Electronic Composition Germany 1960 WDR 1958-1960 images/works/Stockhausen-1964-Kontake.jpg Kontakte is a giant leap forward from Gesang der Junglinge - it is more than twice the length, the electronic sound world is far richer and the musical ambitions are much greater. It was originally planned as a piece for three percussion, piano and four-track tape, with each performer controlling one track of the tape with a fader. During trial rehearsals it proved impossible for four musicians to synchronise with, and respond to, the tape as well as operate the necessary electronics. The piece now exists in two versions: Kontakte (electronic music) - as performed tonight - and Kontakte for electronic sounds, piano and percussion. Nearly all of the sounds on tape are made with an impulse generator - an early electronic device made for producing short, sharp clicks of varying speeds and lengths. Stockhausen had discovered that if a click was played at a high enough speed (more than 16 clicks per second) it became pitch - a note. And if a note was slowed down it became lower and lower in pitch until it became a click. (This effect can be obtained by sticking a flat, wooden ice-lolly stick into the spokes of a bicycle wheel.) It is a phenomenon that is at once very simple and very sophisticated. He had discovered the continuum between pitch (very fast clicks) and rhythm (slow clicks) and this is demonstrated to great dramatic effect in the piece. Physical space is again integrated into the compositional process and Stockhausen defines ........ six forms of spatial movement: rotations, looping movements, alternations, disparate fixed sources (different sounds from each of the four loudspeakers), connected fixed sources (the same sounds in all the loudspeakers) and isolated spatial points. To control the spatialisation of the sounds he designed an acoustic, quadra-panning system comprising a loudspeaker mounted on a large, hand-operated turntable surrounded by four microphones that formed the corners of a square. Electronic sounds poured from the loudspeaker and Stockhausen turned it by hand diffusing them to the four corners that, via four tracks of tape, would eventually be the four corners of the concert hall. The title refers to the way the musical material contacts as it transforms between different sound colours and to the way distinct forms of spatial movement interact. © Robert Worby 2001. Accessed 11.12.06 from audio/Stockhausen-1964-kontakte.mp3 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2373 MICROPHONY I Electronic Composition Germany 1963 WDR images/works/Stockhausen-1964-Micro1.jpg 28 min 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2391 Mixtur Electronic Composition Germany 1964 - images/spacer.jpg Stockhausen composed Mixtur in 1964. It is scored for 5 orchestral groups, sine wave oscillators and ring modulators. It is one of the first pieces, if not the first piece, composed for orchestra and live electronics. During the early performances it was discovered that it was extremely difficult to balance the dynamic forces of a full symphony orchestra with the electronics. In 1967 Stockhausen revised the piece and scaled down the orchestral forces and it is this version that has been performed throughout the world since then. Microphones collect the sounds of each orchestral group – percussion, woodwind, brass, pizzicato strings and arco (bowed) strings – and the mixed signal from each group, apart from the percussion, is fed into a ring-modulator. This is an early analogue device, invented for use in telecommunications, that modulates one signal with another. The sound of the sci-fi robot villains the Daleks is made using a ring-modulator that combines an actors voice with a fixed low frequency sine wave. In Mixtur it is the sound of instruments – solo and in groups – that is modulated by sine waves the frequency of which change, very precisely, to produce the most incredible sounds – sustained metallic swoops, glissandos screeching from the highest high to the lowest low, pulsing signals like a thousand bristling shortwaves or robots trashing a can factory. It’s difficult to imagine how Stockhausen had the idea to make this piece. How did he know what it would sound like? He might have been able to work occasionally with individual instrumentalists and a ring modulator, experimenting with possibilities and noting the results. And occasionally he may have had two or three musicians in the studio. But it must have been near impossible to imagine a whole orchestra, divided into five groups, four of which are being ring modulated to produce sounds that nobody had heard before …. ever. To put all this together, invent a way of notating it and make it work must have been like flying to the moon. Maybe that era of the late 60s, when people were flying to the moon, was marked by a true pioneering spirit; a time of journeying into unexplored territory. Stockhausen was certainly doing this in music. The underlying structural principle of the piece was invented by Stockhausen and is known as ‘Moment’ form. The work is made up of individual units which are “self sufficient”, tiny pieces in themselves, which then combine to make the whole work. In Mixtur there are 20 ‘moments’ and there is some flexibility built into their combination. The piece can be played forwards, from moment 1 through to 20, or backwards (retrograde) from 20 to 1 and some moments may be exchanged with others. Within some ‘moments’, of the original piece, orchestral players are obliged to choose exactly what they play from a selection of material written in the part. There are some elements of chance here, there is some indeterminacy. And it is these elements that Stockhausen has revised in this new realization. Mixtur (2003) has no indeterminacy, all the parts are completely written out, the players no longer have any obligation to make choices. The world premiere of the new version was scheduled to take place at the Slazburg Festival on 30 August, Stockhausen himself was to conduct. As I was traveling to the airport, on my way to Salzburg, I got a phone call to say that Stockhausen was unable to conduct because of an attack of sciatica. He had rehearsed the orchestra in Berlin but conducting in Salzburg was impossible, he couldn’t leave home. Naturally, this was extremely disappointing. A once-in-a-lifetime experience simply evaporated. Salzburg was grey. The Alps towered above low cloud. Drizzle soaked everything. The concert venue was the ‘Lehrbauhof’ – the Building College – which was miles out of town. Stockhausen had invited me to attend rehearsals so I arrived at the venue in the middle of the morning having trudged through the suburbs in the rain. It was a dull looking place, nestled into the foot of the mountains. Inside, students were building – walls and things. It looked like a tidy building site, not a venue for an orchestral concert. But tucked away from the construction activity was the college hall and here the orchestra were rehearsing, each separate section dressed in bright coloured shirts – the brass in red, woodwind in blue, arco strings in yellow, pizzicato strings in lime green and percussion in a kind of mauve, although the one percussionist wore red. There was no doubting which section was which. The sound was fantastic. This hall worked very well. Just the right size. I sat in the middle of the auditorium and the balance was wonderful. The electronics and the orchestra made one sound which sat in the room perfectly. I was able to move my head just a fraction and pick out detail from the rear speakers. If I focused towards the front the rears melded into the mix. All very clear. Rehearsals finished at lunchtime and I took the bus back into town. I arrived early for the concert. Festival stewards dressed in dark coats with polished brass buttons looked like toytown railway porters but they gave the occasion an air of solemnity. The audience looked like aging professors, or would be aging professors, with their wives dressed straight out of Country Casuals. These were the good burghers of Salzburg and what they liked was Mozart and plenty of it. The forwards version – ‘Vorwärtsversion – was played first. Extremely precise. Very clear defined pauses between some ‘moments’. This was something new because the 1967 score clearly states “without pauses between the moments”. The balance and the sound were as they had been in rehearsal, absolutely perfect. These players knew exactly what they were doing. This is what comes of six 3 hour rehearsals. In Brtain an orchestra would be lucky to get two rehearsals. The final note, a high C, (‘moment’ 20 is called ‘High C’) was held and held and held, ring modulated sidebands swirling and swirling. And then there was silence. The aging professors didn’t know what to do. What on earth was that? Had the piece finished? Do we applaud? The silence stretched out. I began applauding enthusiastically. Several claps echoed around before the audience sluggishly joined in. A few polite, wide-eyed socialites gathered around the mixing desk in the interval, asking questions, desperate to make sense of what theyd just heard. Music from outer-space madam, and right here is the spaceship! After the interval we heard the backwards version - ‘Rückwärtsversion. Again, every sound was in its right place, the timbres rich and deep. Rounded basses and hard rattling bassoons, glissandos that felt like they had just swooped off the Alps, electronics like signals from a radio telescope jammed on an alien life form. The applause was a little more confident. The professors’ bewilderment had been temporarily suspended. When I stepped outside the rain had stopped. On the last bus back into town no one spoke. We rattled through the suburbs, big wooden houses set in their own grounds. The driver squeezed us through a tiny gap in the ancient city walls, back into the land of powdered wigs and red velvet. I wondered what the other passengers were thinking. Maybe one or two of them had secretly enjoyed it, but no doubt most of them would be returning home to tuck up in bed with a nice cup of cocoa and their Mozart teddy bear. Safe and sound. But please, not for them, the sound of today’s music. audio/Stockhausen-1964-mixtur.mp3 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2375 HYMNEN Electronic Composition Germany 1964 WDR 1964-1967 images/works/Stockhausen-1964-Hymnen.jpg Short-wave. The aural window on the world. Babble and squeak. .... get across the ocean in a few seconds. Cut the ether with the tuning dial and hit the edge of a station somewhere far, far away. A single speaking voice emerges. Or maybe its a large choir voicing a robust melody. Perhaps its the insatiable bleeping of a Morse code transmission, the actual message submerged in secret rhythms. At the edge the sound fizzes and swirls, then fades and tumbles back. Turn the dial. Slowly, precisely, deliberately. Searching for the dont-know-what. Hiss and crackle rub against high pitched drones that recall the burnished shriek of a jet engine. A voice reads a string of numbers, slowly and deliberately. Keep turning. Suddenly drums and trumpets and unison voices sing heartily, passionately, joyously - an anthem, a national anthem. It shifts and twists and begins to throb like a distant pulsar. Keep turning. Stations run together transforming noise, via melody, into speech then headlong into electro-gabble before swirling back again into noise. This is the world of HYMNEN: short-wave scramble, voices, distant places and music. Recordings of familiar tunes, national anthems (in German: Hymnen ), are transformed as if filtered through a billion stars. Stockhausen writes, Anthems, the national anthems, are the most popular music there is. They are sound signs, sound objects familiar to many people. Actually, everyone is familiar with two or three of these anthems, at least the beginnings of the melodies if not the texts. ..... That is why I chose them as objects, which I can now manifoldly modulate and compose into an unknown world of electronic music. In this unknown world, recognisable found object sounds interject and interrupt the continuity: scraps of speech, sounds of crowds, recorded conversations with the composer, a croupier, a recording of the interior of a Chinese shop, the launching of a ship. These interjections add layers of mystery, intrigue and curiosity. Who are these people? What are these events? Why are they here? At the surface of HYMNEN the sound world feels chaotic, fragmented and multi-facetted like a Cubist painting or collage. But Stockhausen is emphatic. The composition of HYMNEN is not a collage. Many-sided interrelationships have been composed among the various anthems, as well as between these anthems and new abstract sound shapes, for which we have no names. Numerous compositional processes of intermodulation were employed in HYMNEN. For example, the rhythm of one anthem is modulated with the harmony of another; this result is modulated with the dynamic envelope of a third anthem; the result of this is in turn modulated with the timbral constellation and melodic contour of electronic sounds; finally such an event is given a specific spatial movement. Intermodulation is a kind of superimposition process whereby a chosen characteristic of one musical artefact (eg. rhythm or harmony or dynamic) is directly mapped onto a different musical artefact. The outcome of these complex compositional processes is transformation, a kind of sonic metamorphosis leading the listener from the familiar into the unfamiliar. So, in HYMNEN, the everyday musical material of a national anthems mutates into previously unheard sonic landscapes, Stockhausen s unknown world . The work is divided into four Regions , with a total duration of around 113 minutes, and each Region features several centres that focus on specific anthems. Region I (27 minutes 38 seconds) begins with layers of short-wave scramble , introduces the croupier, travels through the Internationale and the Marseillaise via a meditative fugue' on the colour red and into a bridge and intermediary piece that links straight into Region II (30 minutes 4 seconds). Here great clangerous, metallic chords lead into an unknown landscape and 'marsh ducks quack the Marseillaise'. The first centre in this Region is the German national anthem chopped, shredded and then fabulously extended into a huge downward glissando that twists, turns and then slides upwards to a shimmering plateau. This material is followed by the first transition, one of the 'found object' sounds, the launching of a ship. At the second centre 'God Save The Queen' is only just recognisable like a familiar landscape viewed through a frosted window. This centre is followed by a multi-layered 'studio conversation', between Stockhausen and his assistant David Johnson. Time jumps and then folds in layers as they 'go one dimension deeper' to reveal some of the compositional procedures. The third centre is an African anthem whirled about in space and into the Russian anthem which is the only one that is entirely synthesized; all the other anthems in the piece began life as recordings. The first centre of Region III (23 minutes 40 seconds) continues the Russian anthem with the harmonies and duration greatly expanded as if recorded onto elastic sheeting and stretched to capacity. The second centre is the American anthem which is processed in fleeting collages and pluralistic mixtures. The anthems of Israel, Turkey and Ireland lead into a transition, through young voices singing Glory, glory hallelujah and back into short-wave which becomes a vehicle to get across the ocean in a few seconds to Spain which is the third centre. Glockenspiel tones, shifted way down in pitch, echo like ghostly ships bells across this landscape and 'announcements' of the Swiss anthem concludes this Region and begins the next. Region IV (31 minutes 45 seconds) continues the Swiss anthem which is the 'First Empire' of the Region's double centre shared with 'an anthem of the utopian realm of Hymunion in Harmondie under Pluramon'. This is formed out of the final extended chord of the Swiss anthem. Surrounded by shimmering, descending glissandos it transforms into a pulsing abyss into which are shouted echoing names: Turid, Naçar, Iri, Maka. Suddenly the croupier appears again to announce Messieurs, dames, rien ne va plus! A solid metallic attack triggers an immense slide that glides down over the continued pulsations. This is an apocalyptic image reminiscent of Biblical paintings showing great fissures in the Earth with fire and brimstone and lost souls being devoured by demons. A slow, mournful, sine-wave melody emerges and the croupier makes his announcements again. The Region, and the piece, ends with 'the breathing of all mankind. This huge work is a supreme manifestation of humanity and culture, of unity and structure, of technology and vision. It's an unmistakable landmark, a beacon in the landscape of mid 60s culture and counter-culture. It echoes those times: the delirium and confusion. It speaks simultaneously of madness and civilisation, of confusion and clarity, of noise and music. Stockhausen wrote: What I am trying to do, as far as I am aware of it, is to produce models that herald the stage after destruction. I'm trying to go beyond collage, hetrogeneity and pluralism, and to find unity; to produce music that brings us to the essential ONE. And that is going to be badly needed during the time of shocks and disasters that is going to come. © Robert Worby 2001. Accessed 11.12.06 from audio/Stockhausen-1964-hymnen.mp3 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2374 MICROPHONY II Electronic Composition Germany 1965 WDR images/spacer.jpg 15 min 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2385 TELEMUSIK Electronic Composition Japan 1966 NHK, the Japanese Radio , Tokyo images/works/Stockhausen-1966-Telemusik.jpg 17 min. 30 sec 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2386 SOLO Electronic Composition Japan 1966 NHK, the Japanese Radio , Tokyo images/works/Stockhausen-1966-Telemusik.jpg 17 min 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2389 Stockhausen and the Beatles Album Art England 1967 - images/works/Stockhausen-1967-beatles.jpg On May 1, 1967 the Beatles contacted Stockhausen through Brian Epsteins NEMS Enterprises to obtain permission to use his photo on the upcoming Beatles LP Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Since Stockhausen was pursuing a busy schedule of teaching and concerts in the USA and Europe, he was unable to respond immediately to the Beatles request. Brian Epstein sent a desperate telegram on May 8th to obtain permission. Time was impotant since the LP was to go on sale in June 1, 1967. 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2455 Interview with Jim Loudon Spoken Word Germany 1968 - images/spacer.jpg In Five Parts audio/Stockhausen_Interview_wJim_LoudonPart_1.mp3 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2392 Spherical Concert Hall - Japan 1970 World Expo,Osaka images/works/Stockhausen-1970-concert.jpg For the 1970 World Expo in Osaka in 1970, Germany built the worlds first, and so far only, spherical concert hall. It was based on artistic concepts by Karlheinz Stockhausen and an audio-technical concept from the Electronic Studio at the Technical University in Berlin. The audience sat on a sound-permeable grid just below the centre of the sphere, 50 groups of loudspeakers arranged all around reproduced, fully in three dimensions, electro-acoustic sound compositions that had been specially commissioned or adapted for this unique space. Works by composers including Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Boris Blacher were played from the multi-track tape, along with Bach and Beethoven. In the course of the 180-day exhibition, Stockhausen and a high-calibre, 19-strong ensemble gave live concerts for over a million visitors; Spiral, for a soloist and short-wave receiver was played over 1300 times, for example. It was possible to achieve the three-dimensional sound distribution live, using a spherical sensor built in Berlin to feed the 50 sound sources, but a ten-channel rotary mill constructed to Stockhausens design was deployed more frequently. Golo Föllmer. Accessed 11.12.06 from 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2376 SIRIUS Electronic Composition Germany 1974 WDR 1974-76 images/works/Stockhausen-1974-Sirius.jpg It begins with a slowly emerging hum - like a disturbance in the wiring of your sound equipment -; then evolves into a murmur of great timbral depths, finally releasing itself into a spinning, swooshing, disturbing sound of higher frequencies in the foreground, panning between the speakers in an ominous descent, cutting through your skull, slowing down rapidly and coming to a halt, while the deep humming sound continues, until a second spinning occurrence appears, and a third, and a fourth, after which the murmur ceases and the last spinning sound slows down in slow-motion revolutions and stops. That is the beginning of Stockhausen’s “Sirius”, utilizing a special rotation loudspeaker and electronic tape to visualize the descent and landing of spaceships from Sirius. A bass voice then commences in deep registers, calling out: “I am North! – and thus begins the presentation of the four soloists and their characters. In this part some concrete tape sounds appear, like the chopping of ice and crunching steps in cold snow (the Bass representing North, Earth, the Man, Night, Seed, Winter) and fire crackling (the Trumpeter representing Fire, Youth, Morning, Bud, Spring), streaming water in a brook (the Soprano representing Water, the Woman, Midday, Blossom, Summer), a forceful wind (the Bass Clarinet representing West, Air, Friend, Beloved, Evening, Fruit, Autumn). The work is subdivided into three main parts; 1. Presentation of the soloists. 2. The Wheel of the Year. 3. The Annunciation. Stockhausen’s composition “Sirius” can be characterized – on one level – as a visual and musical representation of the year, of the annual cycle, (but it is of course much more than that!) and the characters or occurrences we might ascribe its different parts. Michael Kurtz writes in his “Stockhausen – A Biography”: “The four soloists represent the four seasons, times of day and points of the compass, the four elements, the four stages in the growth of plants (seed, bud, blossom and fruit), as well as man, youth, woman and beloved.” Kurtz goes on to say that “Sirius” can be considered Stockhausen’s attempt at “a modern mystery play clothed as a science fiction story”. The musical basis for “Sirius” rests with the 12 formula-melodies from “Tierkreis”, whereas the tape part’s melodies originate in the four seasons, represented exclusively by the four “Tierkreis”-melodies “Aries”, “Cancer”, “Libra” and “Capricorn”. Depending on when the performance takes place, it starts with the appropriate section after the “Presentation”; i.e. “Capricorn” in the winter, “Aries” in the spring, “Cancer” in the summer and “Libra” in fall. The Summer version is recorded on these CDs, so it starts with “Cancer” and continues with “Libra” “Capricorn” and “Aries”. The tape part – excellently realized in exciting displays - differs, too, depending on which version is performed. The tape part was realized by Stockhausen at the WDR studio in Cologne during a two-year period of great strain. Such was his workload at the outset, that he at one time fainted, and had to spend a week in hospital, where he fasted. During that fast he absorbed a vision about how the work should evolve, and took it from there. (We might also recall that Stockhausen fasted in connection with conceiving “Aus den sieben Tagen”, even ordaining a four day fast in the performance instruction for one of the pieces of the work; “Goldstaub”) Stockhausen says about the electronic part: “By listening to this music, in particular to the Wheel, one perceives how the newly discovered means and structural possibilities of electronic music can awaken in us a completely new consciousness for revelations, transformations and fusions of forms, which would never have been possible with the old musical means, and become increasingly similar to art of metamorphosis in nature.” The tape part melodies are evolved in numerous ways by way of a voltage-controlled synthesizer, enabling Stockhausen to transform the melodies, combine them with one another, sometimes fusing many melodies together in a simultaneous display of Zodiac excellence. For the especially interested it might be of value to read this quote from the preface of the printed score, giving some idea of the complexity of the realization process of the electronic part – actually sending thrills of pleasure through my nervous system by its sheer ingenuity of applied imagination: “The synthesizer which was used (EMS Synthi 100) is equipped with a 3-track sequencer. If the name ‘Aries’ or ‘Cancer’ or ‘Libra’ or ‘Capricorn’ stands in the upper system of the score (where the electronic music is notated), this indicates that these formulas from my composition ‘Tierkreis’ were stored as voltage sequences in the sequencer (maximum of 3 simultaneously). Each of the 3 sequencer tracks has two channels: one channel for the pitches and one for the rhythm. Thus a total of 6 voltage sequences are stored. The speed at which these formulas were played could be changed by the triggering from the sequencer clock over a very large range, discontinuously (with a 5-octave keyboard) and/or continuously (with joysticks, small control levers). Groups of generators and groups of filters as well as the clock were driven with variable volume by these formulas (voltage sequences) via faders. It was thus possible to continuously add 2 or 3 of these voltage sequences or blend them into one another, using the faders (fading the melodies and rhythms in and out). Hence, by means of faders, the time intervals (rhythms) – defined by the stored voltages – could also be added, expanded, and compressed to the point of complete periodicity (time compression is not meant here!). If then, in the case of maximal compression (complete periodicity) the trigger-pulses of the clock were turned off, transition from rhythmicized music to a constant pitch resulted (for example in the ‘Aries’ section). When in the electronic music one of the 4 Zodiac formulas can be heard in its original melodic and rhythmic form, this means that all parameters are being driven by the two voltage-sequences (channels) of only 1 of the 3 sequencer tracks. There was therefore no problem in combining the melodic shape of one formula with the rhythmic shape of another formula (for example in the ‘Aries’ section p. 1, the ‘Aries’ melody appears with the ‘Capricorn’ rhythm, on p. 2 the ‘Capricorn’ rhythm is continuously exchanged with the ‘Aries’ rhythm, then near the end of p. 2 the ‘Capricorn’ rhythm and ‘Cancer’ rhythm are gradually added to the ‘Aries’ rhythm). The same holds true for the addition of melodies – this is not a mixing (!) -, for progressive subtraction and compression of melodies, or for expansion of melodies, independently of rhythmic and timbral processes! The control of the timbres (filters) by the Zodiac formulas followed the same principle. Thus, it can be understood how, for instance in the ‘Aries’ section, the ‘Libra’ formula appears as a timbre melody of the constant fundamental pitch A (i.e. the melody is faded out completely) and that a second timbre melody (‘formant melody’) joins it in counterpoint above the constant fundamental pitch. In all fast groups notated as grace notes, the rhythm is exactly as differentiated as in the slower fragments, but is too fast to be heard as such. The notation, particularly of fast rhythms, is therefore only approximate. When melodic fragments become undecipherable because of discontinuos switching to high speed, or are heard as glissandi contours, they are represented approximately, graphically with lines. […] Where such graphic simplification was not possible, general indications such as ‘indistinguishably fast’, or, as in the ‘Cancer’ section, p.1, bar 1, ‘jump to the 26th note’ (of ‘Aries’ melody) was used. All melodic occurrences are obtained from the described principle of forming. Thus, the melodic shape of the formula can be recognized even in extremely slow tempi, when one precisely reads the score and listens through all the layers. For example, see the very slow ‘Aries’ melody, which is graphically represented using lines, beginning in bar 3 of the ‘Cancer’ section which extremely slowly accelerates and gradually transforms into the ‘Cancer’ melody, finally – still very slow – becoming notatable after more than 3 minutes in normal rhythmic values. Many verbal indications have been written as reminders. In the ‘Cancer’ section p. 9, uppermost of the 3 layers (= staves), for example, ‘Aries/Cancer-rhythms ‘ is written, meaning that the ‘Aries’ melody (with glissandi, as indicated already since p. 7) is driven by the combined rhythms of both ‘Aries’ and ‘Cancer’ (on p. 7 are also the words ‘Cancer rhythm added’), and that the transformation process indicated by the words ‘Cancer rhythm added’ is completed at this point. At the beginning of the lower system the word ‘Aries’ means the ‘Aries’ melody. The word ‘formants’ means: partials made predominant by means of resonance filtering. These are voltage controlled as a timbre melody. The indication in the ‘Cancer’ section, p. 15, ‘1 period now has a duration of 6 seconds’ means that the complete rhythm of ‘Aries/Cancer’ runs through every 6 seconds on the constant pitch G. The indication ‘but tempo no longer varied’ indicates that the 6-second duration of the period is regular from here on.” Naturally, complete enjoyment of the above text is only possible with the score at hand, but it gives an idea of the Stockhausenesque methods of working. “The Wheel” – the passage of the year – lasts in excess of an hour, which lets each of the four main melodies “Aries”, “Cancer”, “Libra” and “Capricorn” dominate for about a fourth of an hour each, and the exact durations on this recording are 24:29 for “Cancer”, 18:44 for “Libra” 13:40 for “Capricorn” and 14:41 for “Aries”. The 12 melodies divide the hour in a manner similar to a clock. “The Wheel” is a complex, continuously evolving, swelling and contracting sonic space, in a delicate flux of transformations and never-ceasing change, wherein the melodies, timbres, rhythms of “Cancer”, “Libra”, “Capricorn” and “Aries” transform into one another, independently or together. Stockhausen points out that one melody out of the four main ones always is approaching, another always departing. The 8 remaining melodies of the Zodiac emerge only by themselves, and are expressively not partaking in any transforming processes. All the texts of “Sirius” except the concluding “Annunciation” were written by Stockhausen. They include 12 short texts describing the characters of the human types according to the Zodiac. Stockhausen explains that all other words are “reciprocal appeals, explanations, corrections, gibes, defenses, compliments and encouragements of the soloists appropriate to these texts of the Zodiac”. Three languages are used in all versions of “Sirius”. In this version English is the dominant language, and German comes next. Italian is used in one verse of “Aries”. The main language may change according to where in the world a performance is conducted. “Sirius” should – says Stockhausen - preferably be performed in a planetarium or under a nocturnal sky (compare “Sternklang”). The work began as a commission from the West German government to celebrate the bicentenary of The United States of America, and Stockhausen dedicated it “To the Pioneers of Earth and Space”. Accessed 11.12.06 from 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2377 UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE Electronic Composition Germany 1979 WDR images/spacer.jpg This work is choir music for tape, and the tape is an integral part of the opera DONNERSTAG aus LICHT, where it is played at lower volume than the live music in acts I (Michaels Youth) and III, 1st scene (Festival). During live performances of the opera, the 8-channel tape (with a duration of about 49 min.) is played through loudspeakers surrounding the audience, thereby providing a spatial enrichment of the musical experience, which otherwise mostly focuses on the happenings on the stage. UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE is highly polyphonic. An essential aspect of the music, and one which has a main impact on its sonic signature, is that the diverse choral voices and lines simultaneously move at very dissimilar apparent speeds of musical motion (forming different time layers). In this work, Stockhausen takes this aspect to an extreme as I have encountered nowhere else in choral music. One part of the choir may sing lines of rigid character, while two other parts express themselves in vivid intertwining gestures, and a fourth one contributes to the texture with sustained notes, just to mention an example. Other a capella works by Stockhausen, for example WELT-PARLAMENT or ENGEL-PROZESSIONEN, also employ this feature of diverse time layers in the different choral strands extensively, but to my ears not to such extremes; similar is the case with Ligetis a capella works from the 1980s. One important reason for the extreme differences in time layers in UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE is the frequent embedding of singing of relatively sustained notes into the texture, against which other strands contrast, in addition to the differences between the strands with lively rhythms (although also in ENGEL-PROZESSIONEN sustained notes are sung, this occurs at low level as performed by a pianissimo tutti-choir, not as part of the main texture at high volume). Another Stockhausen work for voices only, STIMMUNG for 6 vocalists, also often sounds quite extreme in its complex polyphony of vocal lines moving at different apparent speed. However, in that work there is most of the time a basic contrast between two groups of voices, one moving rather slowly and the other one relatively fast, and the added complexity mostly appears to come from different rhythms or from rhythmic shifting between the voices in those two groups, rather than from huge differences in time layers above the basic contrast slow versus fast. In UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE on the other hand there is a continuous clashing of truly multiple time layers in the music. In general there are no big differences in volume between the choral lines. Mostly all the voice threads that are sounding contribute with comparable emphasis to the musical proceedings, without one being clearly in the background with respect to another one. That makes the friction of different choral voices, simultaneously proceeding at different apparent speeds of musical motion, central to the musical texture. This friction is put into constant and invariable presence since throughout the work the choir as a whole nearly always sings relatively loud to loud, with rather moderate variations in overall dynamics (except in the events between the sung texts, see below). Especially in the first half of the work, the different choral lines do not always move simultaneously as a continuous web of voices. Rather, it happens frequently that the individual vocal lines enter the total texture and recede from it in certain time intervals. This highlights the friction of the different time layers even more, since each new entrance of a voice strand calls attention to itself, and thus also to its specific speed of musical motion, which clashes with the other voice strands. This clashing is frequently enhanced by attack-like entrances of voices. UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE often sounds very massive, yet the precision of musical expression and attack always remains sharp. All this is explained by the recording technique. The composer (translated by me from Texte zur Musik, Band 8, p. 551 f.): I conducted the rehearsals and recordings with the choir of the WDR Cologne. For the entire work, which lasts about 50 minutes, I have copied on the 16th track of a 16-track-tape the beats of each bar with impulses. The choir was recorded on the remaining 15 tracks. With pitch differences and accents of the impulses I clarified on the click-track all bar divisions and tempi. During the recording I heard the click-track over headphones and conducted. For three weeks I rehearsed the WDR-choir in split sessions, and on that occasion the voice groups were recorded separately. Always all voices of one group sang. For example all tenors were recorded on one track, then all tenors with a second polyphonic layer on a second track, then all tenors on a third track; the same method was applied for all basses, all altos and all sopranos. At some moments I even have overlaid one voice group four times with itself. With this recording technique, with which everything always proceeded in perfect synchronicity, I thus realized in three weeks a rich polyphonic work. Afterwards I mixed in another studio for six weeks an 8-track version with eight loudspeakers, which stood in a circle around me in about 2 metres distance at ear level, as well as with a 16-track-playback tape machine and an 8-track recording tape machine. During that process, I copied voice groups on several tracks together, I balanced – always standing – the dynamics (which was the most time-consuming) and per formal section I changed the positions of the choral groups around me. Day after day I listened and mixed for 8 hours a new original for performances. The result is reproduced over 8 or 8 x 2 loudspeakers, located around the audience. […] A choir could never sing a work like UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE live. At some moments up to 180 voices are synchronized. When all are present, the WDR-choir has 48 members. Also, a live performance of combined choirs could hardly ever achieve such a polyphonic synchronicity, pitch accuracy and dynamic balance as the recording of UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE posesses them. The recording technique of our time thus creates an entirely new musical quality. Add to this mass of voices the fact that, as I mentioned above, the choir sings relatively loud to loud almost throughout, and you end up with a muscle and body of sound which is quite overwhelming. In UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE, the highly precise presentation of multiple time layers and polyphonic strands by an at times truly massive voice texture provides the listener with a uniquely powerful and unforgettable musical experience. The music sounds fairly dark and even ritualistic, even though the texts sung are mostly joyous. Several factors contribute to this character. The specific harmonies that are used cause a darkening of the overall colors of the different choral sections, and convey a distinctly non-Western character to the music. The bass voices have a dark fullness of sound which is frequently reminiscent of Russian choral music, but the overall effect of their combination with the other voice registers is of a far less specific color. Also, the harmonies employed give the music a somewhat more shouting character than in the typical Western cantabile expression of choral voices, although I hardly would call them abrasive and overtly dissonant in color, certainly not in the framework of typically modernistic expectations. Finally, the patterns of gestures also contribute to the ritualistic sound of the music. Those patterns are marked by a combination of several characteristics: the dense overlay of various gestures sung in different voice registers, the repetitive behaviour of the gestures, which in combination with their often forceful character many times makes them sound like powerful sequences of musical attack, and the constant shifting in collisions of the gestures against each other during the course of the musical proceedings. This constant shifting in addition avoids repetitions in the overall texture, and instead provides stunning complexity (for this, also listen to the very last passage for female choir alone). The vocal colors, filled with mighty saturation, and the textures are imposing. It is a true feast for the ears. Four texts are sung, the first, third and fourth texts in Hebrew, the second text in German. The texts are: I. Judgement Day (from the Ascent of Moses), II. The End of Time (from the Apocalypse of Baruch), III. The End of Time (different text from the Apocalypse of Baruch), IV. Hymn (from Leviticus) Most of the time, however, the texts are not intelligible (at least as I judge from the second, German text), since the texture of voices is too dense for that. It seems that the realization is more about the idea of the texts, with the vocal texture basically led by purely abstract musical considerations. ***** First Text. The basses present vocal lines of rigid motion, while alto voices sing rhythmically vivid gestures of jumping up and down the pitch scale in small, quick steps. Soprano voices sing more sustained notes, pausing in between, or alternate those gestures with shorter, regular pulses. After a while, tenors chime in, alternating between supplementing the gestures of either the soprano voices or the alto voices, but predominantly taking the side of the latter ones, with those rhythmically vivid gestures running up and down the pitch scale. Second text. This part starts with an extremely dense texture, erecting a true wall of sound, in which some sections of the choir sing sustained notes, whereas others sing in rhythmic oscillations of small pitch variations. The texture then opens up when the rhythmic oscillations become pulses, with or without pitch variations, still accompanied by slowly moving lines. After this, the wall of sound returns for the remainder of this part, first with gestures similar to those at the beginning, and then with all kinds of combinations of those gestures with the pulse-like singing. At some points, nearly all the choral sections sing relatively sustained notes. Third text. This part also starts with a wall of sound, with singing of relatively sustained notes. However, at first not prominently noticed, a section of the female choir sporadically breaks out of the texture with sudden upward interval leaps immediately returning to the pitch from where they started. When after some time the volume of the choir recedes somewhat, the leaps become more prominent in the texture, gaining in apparent force, and are repeated regularly to form a web of recurring gestures, but with low enough frequency as to allow for each of those outbreaks in interval leaps to be experienced as an individual, powerful event. After a while two clarinets appear in the music for a few minutes (related to the events in the opera), playing moto perpetuo figures in regular patterns, and somewhat after the entrance of the clarinets, the gestures of choral singing change. Now the voices of all registers sing relatively sustained notes; male voices form a continuous web of sound while there are small breaks and restarts in the female voice strands, giving somewhat of a wave-like effect. Soon, however, the choir returns to the gestural pattern from before. Later female voice strands gain more and more freedom and rhythmic vividness when first, at some points, they sing in regular pulses of sound, heard in different apparent tempi, and finally they create a dense web of small sonic explosions in irregular rhythm. Fourth text. An extremely dense and massive texture of intertwining vocal lines of the female choir and the tenor section in vivid motion, above slowly moving lines in the bass voices, starts this part. After some time, the vehemence of musical motion settles a bit, while the intertwining of voices remains very dense; the tenor voices are now heard as a more separate strand. Then a pause choir is heard (see below). After this, female voices sing in slowly moving, wave-like pulses of considerable kinetic thrust, whereas male voices sing forceful figures of separate rhythm. In the next passage, the wave-like figures in the female voices are converted from slow pulses to smooth oscillations; the male voices blend more into their singing. After a while, the rhythmic articulation of the male voices becomes more pronounced again and, resulting from this, their penetration of the overall texture. In the following passage, the apparent speeds of motion of the different voice strands created by the female choir become more disparate, and the overall texture becomes lighter. This lightening of the texture finds an endpoint when finally the female choir sings alone. In this last, long passage the articulation switches from producing layers of sound to creating a flickering web of oscillations of sound, woven from a very dense texture of rhythmically vivid and leaping vocal lines. ***** The singing of the four different texts is separated by pause choirs, where mostly male voices alone sing sustained notes, with very slow changes in their phonetic expression. Those pause choirs are also heard as a short passage interrupting the singing of the fourth text. In the middle of the second text there is a pause choir specified as well, but I hear this section as a continuum of the main musical proceedings. In addition, other sonic events are realized by the choir in between the sung texts. After the first pause choir, the choir members introduce a new unheard-of texture: Different members of the choir all help to form a web made of tongue-clicks, making it sound like trickling water, and at some points the web becomes so dense that it creates the effect of sounding like a small waterfall. This has to be heard to be believed. After singing of the second text and pause choir, the choir members make a kind of hissing melody from sounds created by forcefully blowing through their teeth, with some further tongue clicking in the middle of it. Finally, after the singing of the third text, accompanied by sounds of other voices, the basses sing a short text in German and then very slowly count from one to thirteen; this passage forms one of the many moments of symbolic counting in the opera, and is heard there during the playing of the choral tape in conjunction with a duet between soprano and tenor. After that, the clarinets playing moto perpetuo figures in regular patterns (see above) appear again as pause choir, and a repetition of the hissing passage leads to the singing of the fourth text. ***** UNSICHTBARE CHÖRE is available at (CD 31). The CD is strongly recommended to those who especially love choir music (you will not believe what you hear), to those who have or want to acquire DONNERSTAG aus LICHT (an important addition to the experience of that music) and in general to everyone who likes adventurous music that is excellent. The recording is of high clarity, with very direct sound allowing to deeply listen into the dense textures. The singing of the WDR choir is superb, the same choir which so successfully transmits the magic of the choral textures in the first act of MONTAG aus LICHT (see my essay, in the other two acts different choirs sing). The extensive CD booklet also contains fascinating excerpts from the score, highlighting the special textures and singing techniques involved. © Albrecht Moritz 2001, text edited 2005. Accessed 11.12.06 from 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2387 KATHINKA’S CHANT Electronic Composition France 1983 IRCAM in Paris. images/works/Stockhausen-1983-Kathinka.jpg 33 min 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2378 MONTAGS-GRUSS Electronic Composition Germany 1986 WDR 1986-88 images/works/Stockhausen-1987-montags_lied.jpg 34 min 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2379 MONTAGS-ABSCHIED Electronic Composition Germany 1986 WDR 1986-88 images/spacer.jpg 28 min. 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2380 CHOIRS of MONDAY from LIGHT Electronic Composition Germany 1987 WDR images/spacer.jpg 68 min., 30 sec. 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2390 LICHT - Germany 1988 LA Scala, Milan images/works/Stockhausen-1988-Light.jpg LICHT with its Seven Days of the Week lasts about 29 hours of music: THURSDAY from LIGHT 240 minutes, SATURDAY from LIGHT 185 minutes, MONDAY from LIGHT 278 minutes, TUESDAY from LIGHT 156 minutes, FRIDAY from LIGHT 290 minutes, WEDNESDAY from LIGHT 267 minutes, SUNDAY from LIGHT 298 minutes. 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2381 OCTOPHONIE Electronic Composition Germany 1990 WDR images/works/Stockhausen-1990-Octo.jpg 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 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2393 HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET Composition France 1991 - all material copyrighted by the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kuerten, Germany images/works/Stockhausen-1991-HELIKOPTER.jpg Early in 1991 I received a commission from Professor Hans Landesmann, the person responsible for the concert planning of the Salzburger Festspiele, to compose a string quartet. The Arditti Quartet was to play the world première in 1994. My first reaction was - as often before in such cases - that I would not write a string quartet, because I have never separated form, content and performance practice, and the string quartet is a typical genre of the 18th century. Similarly, for 45 years, I have not written symphonies, sonatas, piano concertos, violin concertos etc. Each of my works has its own form, instrumentation, performance practice. And then I had a dream: I heard and saw the four string players in four helicopters flying in the air and playing. At the same time I saw people on the ground seated in an audio-visual hall, others were standing outdoors on a large public plaza. In front of them, four towers of television screens and loudspeakers had been set up: at the left, half-left, half-right, right. At each of the four positions one of the four string players could be heard and seen in close-up. Most of the time, the string players played tremoli which blended so well with the timbres and the rhythms of the rotor blades that the helicopters sounded like musical instruments. When I woke up, I strongly felt that something had been communicated to me which I never would have thought of on my own. I did not tell anyone anything about it Since I did not, after the dream, have any time to compose, I wrote and drew several sketches and - from the super formula - developed the HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET as the third scene of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT (LICHT), the cycle of music dramas which I have been composing since 1977. Only in 1992/93 did I find the peace to compose the HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET, and especially to make the fair copy of the coloured score. A performance is staged in the following way: First, the four string players are introduced to the audience by a moderator - who may also be the sound projectionist. He briefly describes the technical aspects of the forthcoming performance. Then, the players walk to the helicopters - or are driven there - while being constantly followed by video cameras which transmit to the television monitors. The moderator (at the mixing console) explains over the loudspeakers what is happening. From their embarkation into the helicopters until they disembark, each string player and his helicopter is transmitted via camera, television transmitter, three microphones and sound transmitters to his own group of monitors for the audience. Each string player should be constantly audible and always visible close-up – face, hands, bow, instrument – without any camera changes and without the fading in of other pictures. Behind each player, the earth can be seen through the glass cockpit of the helicopter. The ascent lasts about 5 minutes from the ignition of the turbines to bar e1™. Until the world première, the measured music of the score (starting at bar e1™) lasted 18! minutes. Due to a later addition, it now lasts circa 21! minutes. Descent and landing last about 5 minutes each. The microphone transmission from each helicopter should be such that the sounds of the rotor blades and that of the instrument blend well, and the instrument is heard slightly louder. To achieve this, at least 3 microphones per helicopter are necessary: 1 contact microphone on the bridge of the instrument, 1 microphone in front of the mouth of the player, and 1 microphone outside the helicopter which clearly picks up the sounds and rhythms of the rotor blades. The 4 x 3 microphone signals can be transmitted by 12 individual transmitters – possibly via satellite relay – and received at the concert hall as well as at further localities, then balanced and mixed to 4 mono signals at a mixing console using 4 x 3 faders. From the moment the synchronous playing begins (0’00”) until it ends (21’37.8”), the four helicopters circle within a radius of circa 6 km above the performance venue, individually varying their flying altitudes. They should fly so high that the direct sound of the rotor blades is much softer than the sound coming from the loudspeakers, or even better, inaudible. After the landing, cameras follow the string players and the four pilots as they disembark from the helicopters and walk (ride) to the concert hall. Once in the auditorium, the pilots are also introduced by the moderator. The players and pilots are asked about their experiences, and finally the audience is invited to participate in the discussion. In performances independent of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT, at least three successive flights should take place in daylight with an appropriate period of time between flights, and with different audiences. As third scene of the opera, only one flight takes place, also in daylight. The composition is through-structured to the tenth of a second. The players are synchronised using a click-track which is transmitted up to them in the helicopters, and which they hear over earphones. Since the four string players usually tremolo in criss-crossing glissandi, I had to draw their pitch lines and curves on top of one another in four colours, so that the melody trajectories could be followed. * * * In the autumn of 1993 I sent the score to Professor Landesmann in Salzburg, slightly nervous at the possibility of him exploding in dismay. Amazingly enough, his response and that of the general director of the Festspiele, Dr. Gerard Mortier, was unexpectedly positive, inspired and courageous. A long series of negotiations followed between the direction of the Festspiele and the Austrian army for obtaining the helicopters, with the Austrian radio and television for obtaining the necessary 12 audio and 4 video transmission-channels, and with officials for obtaining the many necessary permits. I received photographs of a cellist playing in a helicopter, tape recordings made using various microphones, and copies of documents. I called Irvine Arditti only after the Festspiele had accepted my score. His first words were: “Wow – wow – wow!” Whatever that meant: I was happy that he did not give up at once. However, he soon tried to convince me to allow the quartet to be performed without helicopters, using a tape of helicopter sounds, a suggestion to which I reacted quite crossly (naturally, he could not imagine what I had experienced in the dream). Soon afterwards, I sent him four colour photocopies of the score and a click-track tape which my son Simon had made, on which each bar number is spoken in English, and the beats of each bar are marked by impulses and counted in German. Despite the efforts of the Festspiele direction, the performance planned for 1994 could not take place. I was told that the Green political party had publicly warned that it would be intolerable for the environment to allow four helicopters to fly above Salzburg just for the music of Stockhausen, and that the general director of the Austrian television and radio had therefore set such astronomically high rental fees for the equipment, that everything became too expensive. I told this story to Jan van Vlijmen, the director of the Holland Festival. At first, he did not say anything. But he must have been infected by my dream. Heaven knows how he managed to get all of the permits and sponsors. In any case, he allowed several experiments to be made, but only in mid-April 1995 did he send me the news that the HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET would definitely be performed three times on June 26th 1995 in Amsterdam. On December 14th 1994, Irvine Arditti took part in the first tests at the airfield in Deelen, Holland. He told me afterwards that everything seemed to work. During the rehearsals in four separate rooms, I was in a control studio and heard the string players – whose playing was picked up by 4 microphones – individually over 4 loudspeakers. The arrangement of the loudspeakers was as it should be in a performance: left half-left half-right right violoncello viola 2nd violin 1st violin During these rehearsals I spoke with the musicians via microphone and loudspeakers, and recorded all sections using an 8-track tape recorder. At regular intervals, the players came into the studio and listened to the recordings. The tape of these partial recordings and a complete recording is in the archives of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music. On May 10th 1995 further microphone and transmission tests followed at the airfield in Deelen. During these tests, both a small battery-powered mixer in the helicopter (for the distribution of the signals to the transmitter and earphones) was used, as well as a mixer at the ground station where the signals were mixed and recorded. On June 8th, also in Deelen, Irvine Arditti and Rohan de Saram (in helicopters) tried out special stringed instruments with contact microphones, various microphones, transmitters, receivers and the mixing console. Finally, on June 24th 1995 at the grounds of the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, all technical equipment was set up in a specially fitted auditorium, and on June 25th the final rehearsals began, with four helicopters. After I had tested all of the technical transmission units in the helicopters, I prepared the mixing console, and tested all of the equipment. Two test performances were flown, recorded on 12 channels and each time listened to by all participants, commentated and corrected. Also the presentation of the musicians and pilots was rehearsed, with myself as moderator. For the world première on June 26th, three flights took place at 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., for different audiences, each time introduced by me and followed by a discussion. All rehearsal flights and performances were recorded on film and 16-track tape. The recordings were made on 32 tracks (4 x Tascam DA-88): 2 x 12 channels for recording the rehearsals and performances and for security copies. The Dutch radio recorded a stereo mix of these channels on DAT. Some of these documents are in the archives of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music. Most of the filming was done by Allegri, a Dutch company. After the world première, I added a circa 3-minute, synchronous Formation to the end of the work before DESCENT and LANDING. HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET ist dedicated to all astronauts. Performance practice Personnel, instruments World première: The cameras were installed in the helicopters, the support equipment and personnel were on the airfield. All proceedings between the auditorium and the helicopters at the take-off and landing points as well as an initial and final presentation were directly transmitted by portable cameras. 4 music stands, installed in the helicopters. 4 x 3 microphones with 4 x 3 transmitter-receivers; per player: 1 contact microphone on the bridge of the instrument, 1 speech microphone in front of the mouth, 1 large outboard microphone for the rotor blade sounds. The 4 x 3 microphone signals may also be received via satellite relay. World première: After numerous experiments for positioning the outboard microphones, they were fastened to the boarding stairs below the doors of the helicopters and covered with special wind-shields. Due to safety regulations, there was no other possibility. The Sprechgesang of the players (speech-singing of numbers), which was picked up by the speech microphones, was transmitted via the video transmitters. The signals of the contact microphones and outboard microphones were transmitted via 4 x 2 audio transmitters. 8 closed earphones (tightly fitting) for the 4 players and 4 sound technicians. 1 click-track tape: For rehearsals and performances, Simon Stockhausen made a 2-track tape, the left track of which is a voice counting the 1st beat of each bar in English and all further beats in German; on the right track, the 1st beat of each bar is marked with a high impulse and each following beat with a lower impulse. A copy of this tape with exchanged tracks is also available. There are slight timing discrepancies between the tape and the score. These resulted from approximations of the metronomic tempi during the production of the click-track tape. The players originally asked to hear the counting voice of the click-track tape in one ear and the impulses in the other ear, and their instrument and voice in both ears. Voice and impulses were recorded separately on the two channels, so that the balance between them could be individually regulated. Originally, we had made a mono mix of both signals, but the players could not hear the voice loud enough when the impulses were sufficiently loud. The voice was covered by the noises in the helicopter. The click-track was transmitted by a mono transmitter, and thus the balance between voice and impulses was controlled at the ground station and could not be altered in the helicopter. The players therefore heard – in the end – voice, impulses and their own instrument on both ears. Each player had a different mix of the microphones and click-track which could be altered during the rehearsals. World première: A sound technician sat in each helicopter vis-à-vis the string player, and operated a small mixer, balancing the levels of the 3 microphones and that of the click-track tape for the player’s earphones. 4 columns of television monitors in the concert hall. audio/Stockhausen-1991-helicopter.mp3 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2382 ELECTRONIC MUSIC with SOUND SCENES of FRIDAY from LIGHT Electronic Composition Germany 1992 WDR 1992-94 images/spacer.jpg 145 min 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2383 MITTWOCHS-ABSCHIED Electronic Composition Germany 1996 WDR images/spacer.jpg 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2384 MICHAELION Electronic Composition Germany 1998 WDR images/spacer.jpg Work at WDR cut short and was completed in his own studio with synthesizer (WEDNESDAY GREETING, 54 min.). 123 1928 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen images/artists/Stockhausen.jpg Germany 2388 KLANG Electronic Composition Germany 2004 - images/spacer.jpg In 2004 I began this project, entitled KLANG (SOUND). The concert series PAUSE of the Milan Cathedral, directed by Don Luigi Garbini, commissioned the First Hour (ORA PRIMA), entitled HIMMELFAHRT (ASCENSION) for organ, soprano and tenor. It was world premièred on Ascension Day, May 5th 2005 at the Milan Cathedral. This was followed by a commission for the Second Hour (ORA SECONDA), entitled FREUDE (JOY) for 2 harps. The Third Hour NATÜRLICHE DAUERN (NATURAL DURATIONS) for piano was composed next and has not yet been finished. Angelica, the Italian concert series whose artistic director is Massimo Simonini, commissioned the Fourth Hour, entitled HIMMELS-TÜR (HEAVEN’S DOOR). It will be performed on June 13th 2006 in Lugo, Italy. At the moment, I cannot say very much about the possible development of KLANG (SOUND), The 24 Hours of the Day. But until now it seems that each hour contains the spiral of the 24 hours of the day and that the contents of the hours concern all of us. (It is recommended to ensure your entry to a heaven’s door already now.) Stockhausen, February 15th 2006 )