AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN (From the Seven Days) (1968) 15 "intuitive music" text compositions for electroacoustic ensemble
AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN could be seen as the 3rd in a trilogy of "process music" pieces. PROZESSION used pre-chosen Stockhausen works as source material to be developed, KURZWELLEN utilized shortwave radio signals as "input", and the intuitive texts use the "supra-conscious" as the generative element (SPIRAL, POLE and EXPO I consider to be children of KURZWELLEN). Actually the idea of "input" as mentioned in the case for KURZWELLEN reminds me of the 2 inputs necessary for a ring modulation circuit. In that scenario, one input source modulates the other input source and the result is literally the sum and difference of their parts. In AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN the output is, of course, not quite so cut and dry, but the cooperative element certainly produces a kind of sum and difference social ecosystem in a way.
Finally, the influence and importance of Stockhausen himself on these recording sessions cannot be overstated. Many groups have performed these intuitive texts (and new performances seemingly surface on Youtube all the time), but none of them seem to display quite the "fanatacism" (and I mean that in the most positive way) that is found in these recordings. Even without Stockhausen's very aural participation in these recordings (be sings or plays an instrument on all but 2 of these recordings), these works fearlessly represent Stockhausen at his most naked.
Thanks, as always, for these very thorough and thoughtful analyses. Stockhausen's intuitive works are the ones I know least well, which is in some ways surprising because I have for a long time been intrigued about how he works with music that is text-based and that would, in other circumstances, be thought of as 'indeterminate' even though, as you point out, Stockhausen certainly did not see these works in that way. Your blog will inspire me to revisit these pieces. It would be interesting to know the extent to which these performers, many of whom performed in other works by Stockhausen, felt about these pieces and about the experience of performing them and if, and how, that experience was different for them than that of performing his other music. My sense is that for Stockhausen, even his scores where the notation is extremely precise and prescriptive, he expects his performers to connect to something beyond (or within?) themselves - as he always said he did himself when he composed - in a way that seems to me to connect with how he wants them to understand and perform the intuitive music.
Thanks Ian. In the Michael Kurtz book, page 169, there's info about how the Stockhausen Group felt about the intuitive pieces. Personally, it would be a major scoop to do a modern interview with Kontarsky, but sadly he seems too sick to do anything like an interview...Gehlhaar is still around tho I think.
BTW I'm surprised you haven't dug too deep into these, they are classics! Now please go and put a Like on my suggestion for an Intuitive jam session on Kathinka's FB! ;)
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!