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 Why am I busy with Stockhausen? - Create new reply Your posting rights
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 RE: Why am I busy with Stockhausen?

Jerry: good question. US involvement in IRCAM is incontrovertible (for a brief overview see my essay on Babbitt in Avant Garde). Boulez and Stockhausen parted company over the ring modulation of MIXTUR, so there is an element of payback here. KS resisted purchasing US synthesizer technology for WDR, opting to go with Zinovieff's ingenious but picky and unreliable Synthi 100 which crashed during the making of SIRIUS forcing the composer back to the piano (as reported by Berio: see Other Planets). The original version of Kathinkas Gesang is for flute accompanied by "tin men" after Gunther Grass, perhaps, (I interpret them as a pun: they are "tinkers" i.e. KA- TINKERS GESANG); their improvised 3D metallic noises a mordant comment on the sort of electronic noises IRCAM were producing (eg, Boulez's Répons). Given two weeks to do his own thing at IRCAM, he created the alternative electronic accompaniment, far superior, using digital samples already in the IRCAM database, and posing extreme technical demands on resident US technical assistants (detailed in Other Planets, cross-referenced to an article by James Moorer in Computer Music Journal which is clearly about Kathinkas Gesang, though the composer's name is not mentioned). The design of the electronic score is also intriguingly similar to Riverrun by Barry Truax also from 1984, with which it shares the same concern for rotating sound complexes. Despite the high finish and undoubted beauties of the digital score, the performance of IRCAM's digital software did not persuade Stockhausen to return to IRCAM for a longer stint, though his subsequent experiences with electronic keyboards today sound awfully dated, exceptions including Simon's pedal points for FREITAG. But he continues to experiment with moving players (Berio: Circles, 1961; Boulez Domaines 1967) to the end, adopting ritual forms designed to place the most demanding problems on record producers, and in SONNTAG incorporating "coloured ambience" of distant singers and players. His focus toward the end on fundamental difficulties of recording and reproducing spatial movements in a natural environment are a calculated rebuke both to US software (which cannot yet achieve such subtleties in the electronic domain in a controllable manner, and has still to be persuaded that such problems even exist) and also to US audio engineers, whose reaction to every complication is to put up yet another microphone.



Robin Maconie, Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:10 pm
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I feel that it could be useful to have a discussion-forum on the music of Stockhausen. There are so many people from all over the world, young and old, learned and eager to get into contact with this musical world: musicologists, composers, musicians, music lovers; people who plan concerts - who write books or have to give lectures and so on. So there should be much stuff, many ideas that we can share. And when we have open questions, there may be people who studied just that and could give a hint or a stimulus. A problem might be the English language, but i feel that is the only possibility that many people who are interested can participate. And we can exercise tolerance to mistakes! Thomas Ulrich
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