Author Topic: Stockhausen's Spaceship  (Read 341944 times)

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kishnevi

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #800 on: May 27, 2014, 06:09:33 PM »
My newest blog entry is up INVASION – EXPLOSION, Oktophonie, Pieta, from Act 2 of Dienstag aus LICHT:

http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/2014/05/opus-61-invasion-explosion-mit-abschied.html

Here's something interesting I learned:  On CD Stockhausen translates the 3 dimensional 8-channel sound space into a 2-channel stereo mix using some very novel ideas.  In order to create rotating sound events (left-right/front-back) he causes different amounts of phase shifting to occur as sounds come around the front or the back while moving horizontally.  Phase shifting occurs when a speaker set up is wired "backwards", and the stereo field sounds "wrong".  By changing the proportional amount of "wrongness" during a sound's duration, Stockhausen simulates a feeling of changing depth.  In order to translate the horizontal (up-down) movements of 3 dimensional space into stereo, Stockhausen increases the brightness of the sound as it goes higher in space.  He noticed this effect when birds would fly up or down outside his window

Personally I never got this to really work without using a good bit of imagination.  Anybody else?  Some guys at Huddersfield in the paper they wrote about Oktophonie said it didn't really work for them either.  Stockhausen says to use a 4 speaker set up home, but frankly that's just too much work. ::)
In principle, that should work, but perhaps the precise technique was wrong. Essentially what is needed is the creation of the illusion of a Doppler effect in the sound waves as the source of the sound seems to move.  I will leave it to someone who knows about sound engineering to determine if KHS was right.  I think he was only partially right about the birds.  From I have noticed (admittedly I have not studied the matter) the brightness effect is related more to distance from the listener than relstive height.

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #801 on: May 27, 2014, 06:16:37 PM »
According to a few people I know who attended the Mittwoch premiere, "oh my god, suddenly the Helikopter-Streichquartett makes sense now!". However they were also raving about camels and trombones and planets so I didn't take them too seriously.
Yes, there is a camel that defecates planets and a trombonist playing a solo in a kiddie-pool. :blank:
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline amw

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #802 on: May 27, 2014, 06:28:16 PM »
Yes, there is a camel that defecates planets and a trombonist playing a solo in a kiddie-pool. :blank:

My advice—the next time someone offers you weird mushrooms, don't eat them.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #803 on: May 28, 2014, 02:45:30 AM »
To be fair, I don't think the Helikopter-Quartett is a good work to judge Stockhausen by. I'd regard it as one of his weakest efforts.

That is fair.
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #804 on: May 28, 2014, 03:10:07 AM »
Very cool, thanks.
...
I'd love to experience true Octophonic sound in the flesh! And experiencing this Act live would be a trip.


You and me both!  Ideally with Gagaku orchestra for Act 1 and wireless transmitters for the second Act.  Again, I really regret not going to Oktophonie last year...what was I thinking?

James do you know anything about the structure of the Signals?  As far as I can tell there's no real "formula" to the voice/brass/synth outbursts.  I know it's all scored, since there's a version of Signals for solo trombone, but I gotta admit, all the shouting seems a bit improvisatory....

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #805 on: May 28, 2014, 03:13:25 AM »
In principle, that should work, but perhaps the precise technique was wrong. Essentially what is needed is the creation of the illusion of a Doppler effect in the sound waves as the source of the sound seems to move.  I will leave it to someone who knows about sound engineering to determine if KHS was right.  I think he was only partially right about the birds.  From I have noticed (admittedly I have not studied the matter) the brightness effect is related more to distance from the listener than relstive height.

I'm tempted to try the part about phase reversal on my own.  Using Audacity or any other simple audio editor it's very easy to phase reverse a tone.  I could just take a sine wave and vary the phase reversal mix...if I do I'll try to post it here. 

Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #806 on: May 28, 2014, 01:26:29 PM »
A good person to ask is Jerry Kohl over at the Stockhausen Forum, he really knows the technical/musical details well.

I've lurked there a bit.  That Maconie fellow is a bit scary... ::)

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #807 on: May 28, 2014, 02:47:12 PM »
I've been listening to Stockhausen's Gruppen fur 3 Orchester and Punkte the last few days. This is my first listen to Stockhausen and I'm floored. Why did I wait so long to listen?!?! This stuff is EXACTLY my cup of tea.

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #808 on: May 29, 2014, 03:26:19 AM »
I've been listening to Stockhausen's Gruppen fur 3 Orchester and Punkte the last few days. This is my first listen to Stockhausen and I'm floored. Why did I wait so long to listen?!?! This stuff is EXACTLY my cup of tea.

Yeah, those are both great.  I just re-listened to Punkte yesterday by coincidence.  It's not played as often as it should be.  I'd also highly recommend Jubilee if you like those 2 pieces.

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #809 on: May 29, 2014, 08:01:50 AM »
Yeah, those are both great.  I just re-listened to Punkte yesterday by coincidence.  It's not played as often as it should be.  I'd also highly recommend Jubilee if you like those 2 pieces.

I'll definitely check Jubilee out, thanks for the heads up! I was listening to Punkte again this morning, such a fantastic work, it sets loose my imagination. Aces!

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #810 on: May 29, 2014, 11:41:59 AM »
In a spurt of productivity I was able to blast out a write up on REFRAIN, a beautiful piece with lots of slow, violent metallic textures for 3 performers:

http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/2014/05/opus-11-refrain.html


A nice live version can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iO4zGnVD3s
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 11:47:12 AM by uatu »

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #811 on: May 29, 2014, 04:48:46 PM »
In a spurt of productivity I was able to blast out a write up on REFRAIN, a beautiful piece with lots of slow, violent metallic textures for 3 performers:

http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/2014/05/opus-11-refrain.html


A nice live version can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iO4zGnVD3s
Nice! This was the piece being rehearsed in a BBC special I saw on Stockhausen. You may have inspired me to update my section on the beginner's board. I've been lazy about it recently.

Do you plan on "Gruppen" anytime soon? I would be very interested in seeing an explanation of that. I'm listening to it now and it makes no sense to me, which only makes me want to decode even more.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #812 on: May 30, 2014, 04:32:02 AM »
Nice! This was the piece being rehearsed in a BBC special I saw on Stockhausen. You may have inspired me to update my section on the beginner's board. I've been lazy about it recently.

Do you plan on "Gruppen" anytime soon? I would be very interested in seeing an explanation of that. I'm listening to it now and it makes no sense to me, which only makes me want to decode even more.

I haven't seen that BBC special in a awhile, thanks for reminding me since I don't remember hardly any of it!

Speaking of Gruppen I was just at the library yesterday looking at Jonathan Harvey's Stockhausen book and he has a really complicated section of Gruppen, explaining all sorts of formulas and things like that.  Personally, while I respect the math-ey stuff, it sometimes feels like it's more trouble than it's worth.  At the same time I'd hate to do a too much of a surface job, since that's such a famous piece.  So it may be a little while...  Gruppen probably made no sense to me at first listen also, but I was grabbed by the electric guitar solo, the brass battle (like Respighi on acid) and the famous brass "moving around the room" sequence.  I like the percussion solo too, had a little bit of Varese there...

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #813 on: May 30, 2014, 06:39:16 AM »
I haven't seen that BBC special in a awhile, thanks for reminding me since I don't remember hardly any of it!

Speaking of Gruppen I was just at the library yesterday looking at Jonathan Harvey's Stockhausen book and he has a really complicated section of Gruppen, explaining all sorts of formulas and things like that.  Personally, while I respect the math-ey stuff, it sometimes feels like it's more trouble than it's worth.  At the same time I'd hate to do a too much of a surface job, since that's such a famous piece.  So it may be a little while...  Gruppen probably made no sense to me at first listen also, but I was grabbed by the electric guitar solo, the brass battle (like Respighi on acid) and the famous brass "moving around the room" sequence.  I like the percussion solo too, had a little bit of Varese there...
The part with the brass "you're surrounded" effect is awesome. That is the only part that grabbed me so far. I think I've heard it five times over the course of the past year, and I'll keep coming back to it.

When you do get to "Gruppen", I'm sure it will be well-done. People who struggle to understand something (or at least don't get it right away) tend to do a better job of explaining since they can relate better to the audience.

This is the interview I was talking about. Very nicely done.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p013s7xf/music-masters-stockhausen

There's one on YouTube where Stockhausen gave the interviewer precisely 12 minutes, but the guy was an idiot and Stockhausen simply (literally) stood up and left early. It was actually a hilarious and awkward interview even though there was really no information to be gained. I got the impression that the guy had no respect for Stockhausen, or at least didn't do much research beforehand. There were so many parts that made me laugh out loud.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #814 on: May 30, 2014, 10:46:58 AM »
Blast it.  The BBC won't let a Yank watch it from the colonies.  I may have it on a disc somewhere.  I really may not have seen it because I would remember Hazlewood talking about KS.  Hazlewood's docs on Beethoven were pretty great, and his orchestra is not half bad.

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #815 on: May 30, 2014, 10:51:46 AM »
Yea Refrain is a good one .. I especially love the SV recording of it coupled with the greatest recording/mix of Kontakte (imo) and an awesome Zyklus. CD6 is one of the best offerings within the label. Highest recommendations.

Yeah, that's the one I just got last week.  I wasn't sure if it was necessary since I already have 4 versions of Refrain, about that many of Zyklus and Kontakte (with instrumentalists) already - but I'm glad I pulled the trigger since I totally agree with your opinion of the mix.  Actually KS states that the Refrain mix is bungled and the vocal parts are too quiet, but I actually prefer it here where they're more "in the mix" than "in your face" like some of the other recordings.  Yeah, 5 stars all around for this one, 180 page book included for just 2 extra euros.

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #816 on: May 30, 2014, 12:55:31 PM »
Blast it.  The BBC won't let a Yank watch it from the colonies.  I may have it on a disc somewhere.  I really may not have seen it because I would remember Hazlewood talking about KS.  Hazlewood's docs on Beethoven were pretty great, and his orchestra is not half bad.
Hmmm... I'm in the colonies (lol), too, but I was able to see it. I have used UK-based proxies which make it easy to listen to the "composer of the week" podcasts. That being said, I didn't have to use a proxy to see the link I posted. Try it with a proxy (Google something like 'uk web proxies') and see if it makes a difference.
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #817 on: May 30, 2014, 04:35:24 PM »
Hmmm... I'm in the colonies (lol), too, but I was able to see it. I have used UK-based proxies which make it easy to listen to the "composer of the week" podcasts. That being said, I didn't have to use a proxy to see the link I posted. Try it with a proxy (Google something like 'uk web proxies') and see if it makes a difference.

OK, that's interesting, I never knew about these!  Sadly it's still not working, either the proxy server doesn't have javascript enabled or the iPlayer just stays black.  Thanks anyways.  I wonder if my library might have it.  I definitely have not seen this...
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 04:51:27 PM by uatu »

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #818 on: May 30, 2014, 04:54:33 PM »
I was trying to download it so I could put up a DropBox link or something like that for you, but there is no obvious way to do so (not surprising). If it just stays black, it could be that you are missing a plugin, too.
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #819 on: June 01, 2014, 11:20:41 AM »
While doing research for my next article I came across a fascinating interview with the guitarist Michael Lorimer on his meeting KS.  Here's the beginning:

Quote
ML – Let’s see…One of the very first composers I worked with was Karlheinz Stockhausen…
EF – My God!
ML - …to tell the truth, contemporary music was a closed book to me in the 60s. I grew up in Los Angeles where I heard pieces by Schoenberg, Krenek and others, and I appreciated the structure and thought, but the music didn’t hit me in the heart. But then I was at a party in Berkeley, California and somebody was playing an LP of Stockhausen – in the 60s in Berkeley, California people would choose Stockhausen as background music for a party! I started listening, I really was moved, and I wanted to find out more about Stockhausen.

EF – Do you remember which piece it was?

ML – It was Song of the Youth (Gesang der Jünglinge). When I heard it I felt… I didn’t know what it was about – it’s electronic music with voices – but I felt a profound religious feeling, a parallel with Bach. This was the first time I felt this with contemporary music. I had always wondered, “What would it be like sit a hall in Beethoven’s time and hear a Beethoven symphony for its very first time? What would it have been like to have been in Leipzig and have heard a Cantata on a Sunday with maestro Bach conducting?” Stockhausen’s piece moved me and it opened the doors for me to new music. (end cassette I side 1). As luck would have it, Stockhausen presented a concert at Mills College shortly thereafter, and a class for composers at the University of California, Davis. Great! I took Stockhausen’s class and, of course, now I was hearing it directly from the horse’s mouth (laughs). At the end of the semester, I asked Stockhausen if he had ever written for guitar.
He said, “No, I don’t really know anything about guitar”. It was the end of a school day, we were standing in the hallway, and students were walking around us. I had brought my guitar and I said, “Let me just show you a few things”. I kneeled down and played a little. Right away, Stockhausen sat down on the hallway floor with all the students milling about and said, “I want to hear more. Do this. Do that”. I started playing and he said, “I have to hear this all the time. I really want to write something for you. You have to come to Darmstadt.” So a year later I went to Darmstadt. Karlheinz and I had quite a good friendship. That summer, I was studying with Segovia too. I had lunch one day with Karlheinz in Darmstadt, got on a plane, flew to Spain, went to Compostela… and stepped back (laughs)… a hundred years.

There's more good stuff, you can read it here:
http://nyccgs.com/meetings/lorimer/fernandez.pdf

I'm sure KS knew a little more about guitar than he admitted, since guitar is pretty well featured in Gruppen.  He did add more guitar soon after this in Der Jahreslauf.  Offhand I can't think of any others...  Lorimer ended up not playing the piece KS dedicated to him (Spiral) so maybe he felt "turned off"?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 11:25:19 AM by uatu »