Thursday, October 13, 2005

Beam me up, Stocky

Follow this link for an excellent, and rare, interview with Karlheinz Stockhausen in today's Guardian. (Well actually it's done by email, but don't let that put you off.) He is playing a concert in London on October 22nd, his first since 2001. The works are Kontakte (1960), and Oktophonie (1991).

If you enjoyed this post take an overgrown path to Hildegard comes to Norwich via IRCAM and Darmstadt

Image credit: Stockhausen.org

2 comments:

Henry Holland said...

Astonishingly, there are two complete performances of Light in the pipeline: in Dresden in 2008, and Essen in 2010. It remains to be seen if they come off.

That's for sure--but wow, that would be quite an experience if they do.

I've heard that Stockhausen was not adverse to taking LSD in the late 60's/early 70's. That interview seems to confirm it! :-)

Garth Trinkl said...

Rather than being "wacko", I would posit that Stockhausen fits in with the 20th century tradition of experimental, informal (less formal?)art whose practitioners include Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, and a cast of thousands of others...

I heard Stockhausen's Oktophonie (1991) at Berlin's New National Gallery in 2003, and I have little recollection of it (though I have an extensive, beautiful little program booklet from the evening). While before reading the Guardian interview, I had recalled that the work involved 8 loudspeakers situated at the corners of a darkened cube, I had forgotten about the theatrical sliver of moonlight and Stockhausen dressed all in white.

That evening before the concert in 2003, I spoke briefly with Stockhausen downstairs at the Museum. He looked distracted (in his white costume), and I thought to myself "Oh my", the two years since his 9/11 comment must have been disturbing for him. However, once on stage, he commanded the evening's audience with his charisma and spoke clearly and crisply for 25 minutes about the technology of the work and its "vertical" sound innovation. He struck me then as a composer-engineer, and not the distressed shaman that he had appeared an hour earlier. Again, I recall little of the evening's music, though I will say that I do continue to respect Mr Stockhausen for his contributions as an experimental sound and musical artist.

*

(I recall much stronger, Jenny Holzer's huge LED installation on the ceiling of Berlin's New National Gallery, the previous year.)