Thursday, March 20, 2008
Stockhausen off the wall
After John Cage in Bruges Stockhausen has been happening in London. Take a leading rock music venue with no seats and a bar across the back wall, pack in three hundred experimental music fans, add contemporary music specialists Daan Vandewalle (piano - making his UK debut) and Chris Cutler (percussion) and a dodgy piano, and you have last week's Stockhausen tribute.
The first half of the SPNM promoted evening at the Luminaire deep in darkest Kilburn was devoted to emerging British experimental artists and in a neat move the audience was given a free CD recording of the set at the end of the evening. In the second half Stockhausen's Klavierstucke I-IV and the improvised version of Kontakte were coupled with two tributes in which Robin Rimbaud (electronics) joined Daan and Chris.
First came a solo from Robin, Retuning Stockhausen, which used samples of the composers music. A very off the wall evening ended with Opus 2128 based on Stockhausen's curiously suppressed Opus 1970 which was composed to mark the 200th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. In the original the performers listened on headphones to extracts of Beethoven's work and accompanied them in designated ways with the option of making them audible.
In Opus 2128 (the number presumably being the year of Stockhausen's centenary) the Beethoven extracts were replaced, with one exception, with samples from Stockhausen's output. This improvised premiere brought the tribute evening to a suitably experimental end. Daan Vandewalle and Chris Cutler were also the driving forces in the Bruge John Cage Happening, and these tireless musicians are making a habit of showing that off the wall is still a good place for contemporary music music to be.
You can have too many low-light photos of gigs. So, as we were off to the Marcel Duchamp Tate exhibition the next day, my header photo was taken at the Stockhausen gig but shows the grafitti in the mens' toilets (rest rooms in Sequenza21 land). Much more interesting than the Glyndebourne equivalents, and like the Bruge photo I'm in their somewhere. More off the wall pictures here.
Header photo (c) On An Overgrown Path 2008. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk