Jerry: are you questioning KS's motives in making the change from four to three key characters, or simply saying I am making this up? I am simply observing that he did, which is obvious and on the record, and suggesting a reason for doing it. Sketches involving four characters coincided with the acquisition of the Synthi 100 and his discovery thereafter (in composing the electronic score for SIRIUS) that the equipment was fatally unreliable (Other Planets, 379). SIRIUS was not composed in the same way as LICHT, it is a formula composition in which melodies are expanded and contracted as separate layers. Working with three layers at a time is a concept special to the Synthi sequencer, which KS had specially requested Zinovieff to include in the original package. LICHT is composed as a fixed structure of simultaneous layers, and these three-part polyphonies are subject to alteration at different magnifications. Such a method becoming the centrepiece of LICHT can be construed as an attempt by KS to validate the purchase of the Synthi 100 as a unique compositional aid after its relatively poor showing as a synthesizer in SIRIUS. The implied symbolism of a change from fours to threes is another matter, though threes have a precedent in MOMENTE. I do not have to prove why the composer did what he did, only that there is a rational reason for it.
Robin, my confusion concerned the fact that you seemed to be saying that the Synthi 100 forced Stockhausen to reduce the number of characters from four to three, and yet he only used the Synthi in SIRIUS, which still has four characters, even after being subjected to the limitations of the machine. One could easily imagine, having decided not to use the Synthi in his next work (LICHT), that he might have felt liberated to use four, five, six, or any number of protagonists/lines in his dramatic conception/formula. Naturally threes also have precedents in GRUPPEN and ZEITMASZE, and fours in CARRÉ (as well as in GRUPPEN).
To contribution No 18 (Christian): Yes, Stockhausen was no UB-fundamentalist. He just used the conceptions of the UB for his own purpose: To show the drama of mankind in time - to investigate which energies are working in the sequence of the days of the week and what we have to be aware of, when we want to live a conscious life and reach a higher state. Therefore Michael has to incarnate NOW (one could say: Every Thursday anew), and therefore the battle with Luzifer goes on - he is not imprisoned now for times to come and does not wait for his extinction. With that goes in Stockhausen's thinking the issue that man has to reach higher states of being - but that is, on the other hand, also what the UB stresses: In a prominent part (scripture 7 section 4 at the end) a qotation from the Sermon on the Mount is given as a universal command: We should be perfect like God is perfect. And that is what all is about.
To the reduction from 4 to 3 protagonists in the sketches of LICHT: There is an interview with Frisius (25.8.1984, in Frisius: Stockhausen, vol. 1, page 292f), where Stockhausen explains this issue very simple: there was no space for a fourth character; Adam would just have doubled what was already there with the 3 other protagonists. Therefore he decided to reduce the crew.
Respondinmg to #25 (Ulrich): I don't think that Stockhausen simply "just used the conceptions of the UB for his own purpose". That sounds a little bit to me as if he didn't believe in central topics of the UB. But I'm sure with the exemptions mentioned above he did. I had twice the possibility to talk to him about the UB. First when I met Stockhausen after a concert in July 1999 in Kiel. I took the opportunity to ask him whether he had read all the 2097 pages of the UB or only parts of it. He answered: „I have not read the whole book but what I’ve read, I think, it’s true.“ And when I met him for the last time in summer 2007 in Kürten he told me: „You know, I often tell people now what I like to do after death. Those people then react very stunned and so I tell them ‚Well, I gonna give you something to read…‘“ – of course it was the UB Stockhausen meant. So I wouldn't - as alreday mentioned - say that Stockhausen was a UB fundamentalist but a believer in any case. The hours 14 to 20 of KLANG certainly prove that, too. (And I must say, I'm happy about the KLANG titles like JERUSEM, ORVONTON etc.: Now the musicologists can't pretend anymore as if the UB doesn't exist as some did before...)
The Synthi 100 is also implicated in the structures of Jubilaum and Der Jahreslauf, both 1977, both involving four layers simultaneously, in the first work, speeding up and slowing down, and in the second, maintaining different timescales. But let's not let discussion of actual works get in the way of the Urantia discussion, an excuse for ignoring actual works that gets loopier and more desperate by the minute.
By the way: From the 21st to the 24th of August 2014 there will be a UB conference in Berlin. I will talk there about Stockhausen and the UB. Of course I will do that on the 22nd of August... ;-) See more here: http://conference.urantia-dach.org/
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!