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Stockhausen


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By the way, one of his sons, Simon, is a Logic user who posts regularly on the Apple website. I don't know if he posts here as well.

 

Quite a talented family. I've particularly followed the work of Simon and Markus who are extremely gifted in a number of musical genres.

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Which pieces of his would you all recommend for the rest of the board to check out?

 

Whew, that's a tough one. He composed in so many different musical languages -- and most of them require some study and repeated listening to really absorb. I guess if I were to recommend a few "starter" works, they might include:

 

Gesang der Jünglinge (Song of the Youths) (1955) Electronic/Tape

Hymnen (Anthems) (esp. Region 3) (1969) Electronic/Tape

Trans (1971) Orchestra & Tape

Inori (Adorations) (1973) Orchestra & Dancer-Mimes

Tierkreis (Zodiac) (1974-75) Various instruments

Unsichtbare Chöre (Invisible Choirs) from Thursday of LIGHT (1979)

Lucifer's Requiem (aka "Kathinka's Chant") from Saturday of LIGHT (1981-83) Solo flute and percussion

Helicopter String Quartet from Wednesday of LIGHT (1995-97) For amplified string quartet in 4 helicopters!!!

 

If you don't want to wander too far into the realm of the wild and crazy, I'd suggest the Song of the Youths. It's pretty cool and it is generally considered to be a groundbreaking work of electronic music.

 

For many folks who listen to Stockhausen for the first time (or the second or the third. . .), they will immediately dismiss him and assume he's simply pulling their legs. I submit that even though you might not like the sound of his music, at least be open to the fact that there is a lot of "stuff" behind what hits our ears. His is an extremely difficult-to-understand music language -- and very few listeners (understandably) have the patience to try and make sense of it.

 

Calling Karlheinz Stockhausen "an acquired taste" would be an understatement! But, who knows? Maybe you'll find something of interest. Personally, I've found much of his life's work fascinating and (often) stunningly imaginative.

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Here's part of a lecture Stockhausen gave some 35 years ago. . .

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIPVc2Jvd0w&feature=related

 

A lot of what he talks about on the video, we take for granted today. As I worked with my Kyma system this morning and afternoon, I found myself ruminating about how darn easy we have it compared to those who came before us. What might take us a few hours' work often meant weeks, months -- even years for them! Today's listener might be underwhelmed by, say, Stockhausen's early "Study No. 2", but just read up on what he had to go through to produce those clumps of reverberated sine waves.

 

So, to Stockhausen, Xenakis, Cage, Varese, Luening, Schaeffer, Reich -- and many others:

 

Grazie.

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