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Karlheinz Stockhausen dead at 79

by Sven Triloqvist Fri Dec 7th, 2007 at 03:17:29 PM EST

Best known for his avant-garde electronic work, Stockhausen was an experimental musician who utilised tape recorders and mathematics to create innovative, ground-breaking pieces.

His Electronic Study, 1953, was the first musical piece composed from pure sine wave sounds.

Electronic Study II, produced a year later, was the first work of electronic music to be notated and published.

The conductor Sir Thomas Beecham was once asked whether he had conducted any Stockhausen. He replied: "No, but I once trod in some."

Jazz musicians such as Miles Davis (Bergstein 1992), Cecil Taylor, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock, Yusef Lateef (Feather 1964; Tsahar 2006), and Anthony Braxton (Radano 1993, 110) cite Stockhausen as an influence, as do pop and rock artists such as Frank Zappa, who acknowledges Stockhausen in the liner notes of his 1966 debut with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!. The Beatles included an image of Stockhausen on the cover of their 1967 Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Rick Wright and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd also acknowledge Stockhausen as an influence (Macon 1997, 141; Bayles 1996, 222). San Francisco psychedelic groups Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead are vaguely said to have done the same (Prendergast 2000, 54), though Stockhausen himself merely says the former band included students of Luciano Berio and both were "well orientated toward new music" (Texte 4, 505). Founding members of Cologne-based experimental band Can, Irmin Schmidt and Holger Czukay, actually studied with Stockhausen[citation needed], as did German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk (Flur 2003, 228). New York guitar experimentalists Sonic Youth also acknowledge Stockhausen's influence[citation needed], as do Icelandic vocalist Björk (Guðmundsdóttir 1996; Ross 2004, 53 & 55), British industrial group Coil[citation needed], and British techno artist Aphex Twin[citation needed]. Pianist Glenn Gould occasionally played a humorous character whom he based on Stockhausen, and who can be seen in the Glenn Gould Collection videos.

Stockhausen had dreams of flying throughout his life, and these dreams are reflected in the Helikopter-Streichquartett (the third scene of Mittwoch aus Licht), completed in 1993. In it, the four members of a string quartet perform in four helicopters flying independent flight-paths over the countryside near the concert hall. The sounds they play are mixed together with the sounds of the helicopters and played through speakers to the audience in the hall. Videos of the performers are also transmitted back to the concert hall. The performers are synchronized with the aid of a click-track. Despite its extremely unusual nature, the piece has been given several performances, including one on 22 August 2003 as part of the Salzburg Festival to open the Hangar-7 venue, and the German première on 17 June 2007 in Braunschweig as part of the Stadt der Wissenschaft 2007 Festival. The work has also been recorded by the Arditti Quartet.

I'll leave RG to fill in the neuronal gaps....

Feel free to celebrate a pioneer, rather than be sad.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 7th, 2007 at 03:22:17 PM EST
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 05:26:43 AM EST
Big day. Apparently he died on Wednesday.

I and we may lose a chunk of something with his passing, but he will be source of pleasure and inspiration for a great long time.

Bye, bye Stock.

by Loefing on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 07:05:03 PM EST
Bernhard, rememberinggiap and uncle $cam hit the tones.


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 09:58:24 PM EST

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