"What does one need to know and what not?" A very nice question by Adorján!! Inevitably what comes to my mind is Wagner in Goethe's Faust-drama, who said: "Zwar weiß ich viel, doch will ich alles wissen." To go on with citations: On the other hand St. Paul in 1. Cor 6,12: Everything is permitted, but not everything is useful. But to discern the useful and the not useful is not easy, as we all know. To come to the point: You should know something about Urantia, otherwise you will not understand certain words in the works; and on the other hand it contributes to the understanding of the framework of LICHT, for instance. But the Sirius-Thing is a (nice or odd) phantasy; it does not contribute to understanding.
Wagner in Faust was the caricature of a scientist and I think we got over this. Paul is right in his context because God gives a guideline. But in our context, everybody must look for himself whether something can be useful and try to explain it to others. E. g. Sirius „the fantasy” and SIRIUS the work. But this is not our theme, so I do not want to go on.
I had to smile when I read Thomas Ulrich's last posting. It seems to me that he feels even more uncomfortable with the "Sirius-thing" than with the UB....;-) Right, Thomas? But I must ask: Is it more crazy to believe in an origin on Sirius than to believe that mortals ascend to mansion worlds spinning around Jerusem? And do we have the right to call the "Sirius-thing" a "phantasy"? The belief in an alien origin is more common than we might know. An example: Michael Leibundgut, who sang the Luzikamel/Operator in Birmingham and Lucifer in Munich, published a book with channelled messages from a celestial being called Equon... :-) So Stockhausen's faible for aliens and celestials seems to infect a little bit... ;-)
Wagner in Faust - we got over this? For myself I feel that tendency in my psyche very often - and as I know you, dear Adorján, I guess that you too are acquainted to such temptations. They come to me especially in the study of LICHT, for that cycle is somehow all- embracing, and you could come to no end. For me that is one of the most urgent problems in the study of this cycle: to limit myself and by that not to miss crucial points - not to get lost in paths that lead to more desert-like areas... And to "Sirius": What I mean is: According to my opinion it does not contribute anything to the understanding of SIRIUS, when I know Stockhausen's belief. If you don't agree, please let me know (but please in a new thread: "SIRIUS")!
Yes, Christian, you are right: I feel uncomfortable with that "Sirius-Thing". Maybe because I belong to a "pre-postmodern" generation, that stresses general standards of rational thinking. And in that respect the hint, that something is more common nowadays, for sure is no argument. I like Michael Leibundgut very much as an artist - I feel much sympathy to him as a person, but when it comes to channeling, I cannot go with that. As to the Urantia Book: I am able to respect it to a certain degree when I got the insight, that this book is the answer to a task that "normal" theology had missed: to really transfer the images of tradition to our space-world. As I said in a contribution before: Even though all the contemporary theologians know, that our planet is just a dust particle in space they speak as if the earth still is the center of everything. Urantia Book has surpassed that, but not with a theory with rational standards.
All I humbly wanted to motivate is openness of thought. One should not (like Goethe with the part of Wagner) ridicule an all-embracing (scientific) curiosity. Certain successes of science were based on seemingly silly research in paths that were thought by others to lead to desert-like areas. I thought this blog to be a generator of ideas one can accept or reject. You must restrict yourself for your study: So pitch on what you need! There is no contradiction! And I can tell you for sure: I am no post-modernist myself, too!!!
A week ago in # 75 James asked how we gauge the DONNERSTAG and confessed that this day is not on top of a list of hits from the cycle. In the last days, while working a bit on the first act, on KINDHEIT and MONDEVA, I often thought of that question. Generally speaking again my experience was: The more I listen to a work of KS, the more I like it - just the opposite to other composers: Sometimes I am fascinated in an initial encounter, and after a while I cannot hear it any longer. What happens with KS for me is a sign for true quality. But on the other hand I feel: Especially KINDHEIT is not very accessible, is not overwhelming like OKTOPHONIE for instance is. Often just the 3 voices, and often without establishing a relationship to one another; just a very dry polyphony. But just that is the content of this scene! What we witness here is the process of incarnation of this heavenly spirit (Michael); he goes down from heaven into the dark, the pain, a world of crime and neglect, people not caring, a world of war and death and violence. In nearly all the scenes of LICHT there is a sense of humour - here nothing of that kind. For Stockhausen it must have been a very painful time of remembrance and composition. And the often austere music reflects that very clear. But on the other hand, when you get more into it, you see how very sophisticated the formulas are treated here; the listener is given a lesson in mindfulness and he can more and more detect the meaning of the small phrases or even single pitches - up to MONDEVA, where we learn that the formula is the true name of a spirit. Here humour comes back, but the dark frame of the scene is even more explicit. So the very austere appearance of the music is sometimes very hard to listen to, but it is very essential. Maybe on stage it will be much easier, for a lot of events happen in short time, and a stage director with fantasy and diligence can do a lot to clarify what happens.
Yes, Michael's Journey (from 2008) was a really spectacular production, live even much better than on the DVD; the stage director Carlus Padrissa and his collaborators did a great job and, as I see it, it was very much in harmony with the music. In that year there was a plan to stage the whole cycle for the world exhibition in Milan 2015 with that team of Padrissa - everything seemed clear, even the public funding; but then there was an election in Italy which Mr. Berlusconi won, and everything was cancelled. Now we are waiting for things to come, and I wonder if anything will happen during my lifetime...
I thought this might be an appropriate place to post links to my blog posts on DONNERSTAG AUS LICHT. Judging from the previous posts in this thread, everybody here seems to be already quite well-educated about it, but if any newcomers are interested, my articles include a fairly detailed explanation of the synopsis, and nearly all of the HEIMKEHR libretto in English. I also tried to pinpoint the major instances of the LICHT formulas, that's become almost like a hobby - like a "wordsearch puzzle".
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!