Stockhausen Edition no. 17.1
(For Times To Come)

Karlheinz Stockhausen Für kommende Zeiten (For Times to Come):
Verkürzung (Shortening) / Wach (Awake) / Anhalt (Halt) / Vorahnung (Presentiment) / Innerhalb (Inside) / Wellen (Waves)

Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar:
Michael von Hintzenstern [piano – harmonium]
Matthias von Hintzenstern [cello]
Daniel Hoffman [trumpet]
Hans Tutschku [synthesizer]

Karlheinz Stockhausen
[sound projection]

Stockhausen 17.1. Duration: 64:00

Many questions have been raised, after MANTRA on Stockhausen Edition Volume 16 was followed by STERNKLANG on The Edition Volume 18. Whatever happened to Volume 17? The answer is that Volume 17 of the Edition was kept open and on hold until Stockhausen could approve of recordings with good enough standards to be published of the 17 intuitive compositions collected under the title FOR TIMES TO COME. These pieces were written by Stockhausen in the manner and method of AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN (1968). He explains in the CD booklet that he wrote UNANIMITY, ELONGATION, SHORTENING, ACROSS THE BOUNDARY and COMMUNICATION during The Darmstadt Vacation Courses of August 1968. A selection of Stockhausen’s intuitive pieces was to appear at the end of The Darmstadt Vacation Courses of 1968 rounded up under the title MUSIK FÜR EIN HAUS.
Stockhausen wrote
INTERVAL in September 1969 in the Alziprato monastery in Corsica.
In Bali in 1970, heading for Japan, he went on to write
The remainder of the 17 compositions appeared in a short time-span 1970 in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), where Stockhausen wrote

Finally in 2005 Stockhausen recorded the pieces on this CD in Cologne, with
The Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar. Since only six of the 17 pieces appear on this CD, it is numbered 17.1, thus promising coming CDs for coming times!

Stockhausen notes that he has participated in two of these intuitive pieces as a player;
BIRD OF PASSAGE and CEYLON. CEYLON is published on Stockhausen Edition Vol. 11, and BIRD OF PASSAGE can be found (with CEYLON) on an LP from British label Chrysalis (CHR 1110) from 1976, recorded in 1975. BIRD OF PASSAGE has Markus Stockhausen on trumpet, electric trumpet and flugelhorn, Harald Bojé on electronium, Aloys Kontarsky on piano, John Miller on trumpet and Karlheinz Stockhausen on chromatic rin, lotus flute, Indian bells, bird whistle and voice. On CEYLON Stockhausen plays Kandy Drum.

The booklet of
The Edition Volume 17.1 comes with an unusually thrifty text. You get used to these lengthy and detailed Stockhausen texts in most booklets, and you get spoiled by that, tending to expect the same wealth all along. The complete verbal instructions of each piece are provided, but I’d like an explanation into how the ensemble solved the problems of each piece, and how they worked everything out with Stockhausen.

The booklet contains a text about The Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar, written by one of its members; Michael von Hintzenstern, which also touches lightly on the work process. This text is unusual in itself, since the booklets usually do not contain much text about – or by – the musicians.

Kathinka Pasveer
has taken the photographs for the booklet, and done a good job of it. Now that she has embraced digital technology, the unsharp and capricious snapshots of before are gone! The photograph of Stockhausen’s left hand and the shadow of his right hand is a great shot!

When I listen through this CD it strikes me that you don’t often hear Stockhausen in here. It is a fact that you most of the time can distinguish Stockhausen’s music from all other music, even though it might be hard to pinpoint exactly why this is. In all those cases Stockhausen has composed the music more directly, and not, like here, just provided short, verbal instructions.
In my view, this CD is rather less interesting than most Stockhausen CDs, simply because Stockhausen is more removed from the music here than elsewhere in his oeuvre. I do like to read his instructions for these intuitive works, but in all but a couple of the pieces I find the music pretty much bland, losing itself in that common commotion of some of the ensemblic ideas of the 1960s.
I would guess that Stockhausen has hesitated long, before finally releasing examples of these improvisations. Maybe he just felt compelled to do so, to fill in the gap between
Volume 16 and 18, and maybe many people have persuaded him to make a release.

I do not mean that the players aren’t creative. It’s just a fact that improvisations loosely based on verbal instructions tend to retreat into a musical language that isn’t the most brilliant or compelling. That is just a result of the situation, and nobody’s fault. Without Stockhausen’s involvement in the process, the result would probably have been much less interesting than it finally turned out, anyway, which ensemble member Michael von Hintzenstern hints at in a portion of his booklet text:

…it proved to be helpful for the group that Stockhausen could follow and assess the music ’from outside’, so to speak, as it came into being. […] …the goal was to immediately and vividly realize each individual line of the text. After a short time, Stockhausen managed to push the ensemble out of its ’group dynamics’ rut and to set in motion a process of making music which truly pulsated.

It is clear that Stockhausen has appreciated the ensemble’s efforts over the years, which shows in these quotes from Stockhausen messages to the group in 1990 and 1991:

…It was good to finally hear you in concert. I would like to thank all of you: You have kept intuitive music alive. Together we will certainly continue to develop this unique musical form.” (1990)
”THANK YOU for the days during Pentecost. Also for me they were extremely instructive, and you are simply 4 angels! Whenever I have the opportunity, I will help you to continue in the discovery and elucidation of intuitive music” (1991)

I believe that rather than having these examples of what you can do with these verbal instructions committed to CD, they’d be much more useful only as basis for unrecorded improvisations, just to sharpen the commitment and creativity and ensembleism of the players. Another way to make a CD – or a set of CDs – with these pieces interesting, would be to have, say, five examples of each piece recorded, by various combinations of instrumentalists.

Let me just dwell some on the last two works on the CD.
The next to the last piece on the CD is Inside

Play/Sing a long note
Penetrate into the note of a co-player
Play/Sing a long note
Penetrate into the note of another co-player

When someone penetrates into your note, make everything clear to him.

Penetrate into the note of a co-player
Take him with you
and penetrate into another note
until all are moving within each other
making themselves clear to each other
begin to burn
and together coil into the heights

Male, ceremonial voices, in a Tibetan monastery atmosphere, grow firmly and voluptuously through the music, in semi-khöömei, semi-kargyraa… and a panning, fluttering motion inside the music has the nuances flying off of voices onto trumpety and trombony strands; a withheld wilderness of sound in a strangely unstructured motion, made up of piano, harmonium, trumpet, cello and synthesizer – and all these voices protruding in yolk audio, strangely protein rich!
It is true I’d hardly guess Stockhausen here, because there is no way for me to discover the latticework of his, no way for me to apply my x-ray-vision an gather up the plan! However, I believe Stockhausen just simply inspired the musicians and then let them bring this prestigious game home! Here it is, quite enjoyable – and Stockhausen’s intuitive text is in place; we hear the result, on CD 17,1.

The very last piece on the CD s

Overtake the others
Hold the lead
Allow yourself to be overtaken
Less often

The resounding of a bell – or is it a sound from the synthesizer? – vibrates in repetitious beauty, as the cello draws thick lines of graphite. Strong coffee and Japanese mist!

As I continue my journey through this physical body of mine, roughly shaped by the skeleton I stand attached to and the complete physical environment of the Universe that I and you are all integrated parts of (and I believe we’re all the complete universe in its entirety too, simultaneously and always, an all-encompassing latticework of non-local-connections), I also sense, wildly and clearly, the fathomless realm of our spiritual make-up, flowing in karmic consequences through colorful experiences – and at one time or other you realize that the general set-up of life has changed, has moved into a new set of circumstances, which color your life for the time being.
I come to think of this particular character of existence when I listen intently to Stockhausen’s
Edition Volume 17.1; For Times To Come – since these so-called intuitive pieces perhaps tend to find their shape easier along the characteristic tendencies of Universe and Life, as they open up their vulnerabilities to the cloudless sky of mind.

Before I arrived at this situation by
Edition 17.1 I went through some experiences that started to shape my local life intensely, and since these experiences definitely affected my way of perceiving these Stockhausen pieces, I will give you a short recollection, also inserting some few photographs collected during these travels.

The changing of the times began when I was heading north to Lapland in August 2007 to hike the rock deserts and open spaces of a country that I’ve come to regard my own land; these barren and beautiful expanses without a trace of Man’s activities, under looming glaciers and through magnificent and rough topographies, north of the Kebnekaise massif and south of the Abisko Mountain Station; a large and wild land crisscrossed by remote valleys and towering summits and soaring glaciers.

After three days boring into the wilderness along an established route; the quite comfortable King’s Trail, I told my accompanying Stockholm lady farewell and cut up into rougher terrain into a mountain pass, where she didn’t dare join me, even though those had been our plans. I lost myself momentarily in thick mist up in those lands of sharp black rocks, but in a while of uncertainty the sun began to find its way through and opened the view down towards Lake 1078 way below.

Lake 1078

I joined a young Frenchman on the descent. (He was working in a micro-bank in Montpellier). He cut out footsteps in a very steep snow slope, which, nonetheless, was the best method of getting down to the lake, and I let my backpack tumble hundreds of meters down, to make my own descent more passable.
The typical Lapland mix of sheer beauty and rough circumstances all but overwhelmed me down towards the Nallo hut, Nallo meaning Needle in Saami; a very sharp summit.

A few days later I had passed through my favorite valley Stuor Reaiddávággi twice, to begin with from the Nallo hut down to Sälka by the King’s trail with an older hiker, Lennart Kindbom, 75 years, who gave me some hope for a few more mountain years, though the sheer example of his strength and agility and smiling stubbornness.

Lennart Kindbom

I had only stayed the night at Sälka to wait for better weather, and the next morning the sun shone, so I headed back up into Stuor Reaiddávággi to cut up into the adjoining valley Unna Reaiddávággi, which is an even more barren and desolate valley, making you think about Spitsbergen. The topography, the way I turned up into Unna Reaiddávággi, was extremely rough, consisting of large rocks as far as the eye could see, and a few snowfields gave some relief at times. It is quite foolish to venture through these remote and tough valleys by yourself, but I had no other choice, if I wanted to get in there, and I really did long for those sharp-edged circumstances.

Part of Unna Reaiddávággi looking north towards Stuor Reaiddávággi

In late afternoon I had come upon the lake at the farthest end of the valley, Lake 1226. At the farthest shore of this glacier lake a small hut is built. It’s old and badly maintained, but it is in working condition, i.e., you can get some shelter there, and it’s fastened to the ground with steel wires, so it won’t blow away when the storms hit.
The hut contains two bunks, and some birch wood had been transported there by snowmobile last winter. In one corner there was an old wooden stove, and so I got in there, lost my 25-kilo backpack and unpacked some food, which I cocked on my portable Trangia stove. I also made a fire in the wooden stove and hung my clothes to dry. I stayed in the hut a couple of hours, while weather gradually deteriorated outside. I had the vague idea of trying the mighty pass up above the hut, between the Pyramid and the Knife’s Edge; the two summits which you had to pass between to get across to the valley behind, where I thought I’d pitch my tent.

I did make my way towards the glacier wall that I’d have to climb, using my crampons, but before I got that far I had to pass by a steep slope of loose gravel, which only got steeper further down, ending in a havoc of sharp rocks, so I couldn’t possibly allow myself a slip, ‘cause that would have killed me instantly.

It was a strange position to find myself in, by my own free will, by myself on that slippery slope that I had to traverse with my 25 kilos on my back, already tired and weary at the end of the August afternoon, but I kept on surprising myself, finally getting past that dangerous place. The next trial was the traversing of a glacier tongue that licked down into the valley, but it had been minimized by weather and sprayed by small rocks, so it was quite easy to get across.
As I got up to the glacier wall, which in fact was a steep incline with hard snow on top of the glacier ice, I sat down and put on my crampons. The weather was getting denser; a thin rain began blowing in, and shreds of clouds blew in from the valley. Everything got darker and quite wet. I could see the lake way down behind me, where the Unna Räita hut was cast out in the wilderness, and it felt like it was placed in another world, another time. I was zigzagging up the slope, feeling worse and worse; simply too tired and worn out, and the gathering dusk did nothing to make me jollier.

It is very seldom that modern man finds himself in a situation when he is completely dependant on only himself and no one else – but here I was. I was way out in desolation, beyond incomprehensible rock deserts, observed only by looming glaciers.

As I got higher and higher on the glacier wall, I got more and more tired; yes, exhausted – and then it all happened very quickly: I completely drained, more than I’d ever done before, down to my last muscle and nerve. I sank down onto my knees and down into the snow, huddling behind a black cliff two thirds up the glacier, and I realized I’d lost one of my crampons. At that moment I did feel the cold breath of death down my neck, and in a kind of vision I saw the wise eyes of my late mother and the calm gaze of the Dalai lama. Resting in a heap behind the protective cliff I sensed the closeness of these benevolent beings, and slowly I began to regain some strength. Backtracking in my steps I found the lost crampon, and attached it to my foot. Simultaneously I let my backpack go down the glacier side, which made it quite much easier to descend myself – because I had completely cast aside my original idea of traversing up the glacier pass. That had to wait till another time. Now I had to find rest, complete rest.

I dragged myself back around the treacherous gravel slope, saving myself onto steadier ground, fording a stream below and finally making it back to what seemed heaven on earth; the tiny Unna Räita shack!

The Unna Räita hut

I was soaking wet from a combination of sweat and rain, so first of all I undressed and hung all my clothes around the hut, also setting fire to the wooden stove, having a cozy warmth spread around the small room. I spread my warm sleeping bag on one of the bunks, and slipped into it while my soup was boiling on my Trangia stove. The smell of the soup spread and mixed with the smell of the burning birch wood, and I swear I never felt more cozy and comfortable before! I was so completely at peace, all alone, with not a human being for at least 15 kilometers in all directions, and with really tough terrain for those kilometers.
At that moment I discovered a white book lying by the one little plexi-glass window. It was Andrey Kurkov’s absurdist Ukrainian novel
Death and the Penguin, which I enjoyed enormously inside the shelter of the Unna Räita hut. This was the discovery of a great new authorship for me, and the first in a long line of strong new cultural discoveries that I made at the end of the summer of 2007, in unlikely places. The unlikeliest place of them all was the forlorn and rugged Unna Räita hut, where I dozed off that late afternoon, after my horrid, tired-out experience on the glacier wall, only to wake up with a jerk later the same night, for a second wondering where the heck I was, or even WHOM I was, but it all came back to me fast, and I heaved myself halfway up and stuck my eyes against the plexi-glass and peered out across Lake 1226 in the dusk of the August night. I boiled some fresh fruit soup, burned some more birch wood in the stove and crept right back into my sleeping bag, lying straight flat back, staring into the angled ceiling, listening to the wind grabbing the hut and my life.

The next day I hiked all the way back to Sälka through Unna Reaiddávággi and lastly Stuor Reaiddávággi, and I don’t want to explain anything else about this Lapland hike, except that all went quite well after this, and the next remarkable incident, that propelled me further on into rich cultural and human experiences came unexpectedly in a telephone call from the Swedish Composers’ Society, and it’s artistic leader, who asked me, right off, if I could spend a week in the town of Norrköping, Sweden, at the Nordic Music Days 2007, which were starting just a couple of days after the call which reached me just as I came back home from my Lapland adventures. My job was to visit as many concerts as possible during the Nordic Music Days, and to write about my impressions at an Internet blog that the festival organization had set up for me. I got a hotel room and a sponsored laptop, and could use the festival’s and the hotel’s wireless networks. I was working hard just as soon as I’d come back from my beloved and barren rock deserts!
One of my major experiences had to do with Svend Nilsen’s work for 12 solo voices,
Sommerfugledalen, based on the sonnet collection by Inger Christensen, brought about with all the natural beauty of the voices and the transparent intricacy of Nilsen’s compositional work. Inger Christensen’s sonnets constitute some of the most important contemporary poetry of Denmark, demonstrating a thought-world of the utmost originality and lingual virtuosity.
When I had the chance I ordered Inger Christensen’s
Collected Poems, in Danish.

Poet Inger Christensen

Another very strong experience that I also connect into the same wave of life, came with Swedish composer’s Karin Rehnqvist’s The Angel With The Burning Hands, which also was performed at the Nordic Music Days, in a complete performance including theatrical as well as musical and poetic ingredients, in a style that made me think of Rudolf Steiner and the anthroposophist.
A third major influence that hit me at the Nordic Music Days was the music of Hungarian composers Andor Losonczy and Josef Maria Horvath who both reside in Salzburg, introduced to me by Swedish-Hungarian composer Zoltán Gaál, who has been their pupil. Zoltán Gaál came visiting right after the Nordic Music Days, when he was transporting a harpsichord through Southern Sweden, and with him he brought a richness of concert performances by works of Losoncsy and Horvath.

So the atmosphere in which I find myself at the beginning of October 2007, as I keep listening to Stockhausen’s
Edition 17.1, is made up of certain ingredients that completely color my experiences, in addition to Stockhausen’s music, merging with Stockhausen’s art:

A feeling of the barren valley of Unna Reaiddávággi in Northern Swedish Lapland with its rock deserts, ice lakes, mountain passes and looming glaciers / The cold lakes 1050, 1078 and 1226 (their names indicating their level above sea level) / The great requiem
Sommerfugledalen (The Butterfly Valley) by Danish poet Inger Christensen, and Danish composer Svend Nielsen’s reworking of it for 12 solo singers (sopranos, altos, baritones, basses) / Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist’s grand opus To The Angel With The Burning Hands for a great female choir, two celli, 1 flute, 1 oboe / The hidden oeuvres of Hungarian composers Josef Maria Horvath and Andor Losonczy revealed to me by Swedish-Hungarian composer Zoltán Gaál / The illustrious and darkly offbeat novels by Andrey Kurkov: Death and the Penguin; Penguin Lost – and finally, after this unorthodox detour inside my text about Stockhausen Edition 17.1; For Times To Come. I’m back with these intuitive pieces, and the last of them; WAVES… and my realization, through every fiber of my existence, is that all these influences, these shivering expressions of life and intelligence, all belong together in one total sweep of life, and so I acknowledge myself and everybody into this mysteriousness of Being.

Let me start over again with this last piece:

The resounding of a bell – or is it a sound from the synthesizer? – vibrates in repetitious beauty, as the cello draws thick lines of graphite. Strong coffee and Japanese mist!

A thick calm reassures the listener, who is the be-er, the live-er! A chewing jaw-trumpet and a like-wise, wobbly synthesizer, describe the circumstances in a made-up, constructed netherworld of air-compressions, gradually catching on percussive strains, also in the echoing hull of a piano lost in the un-distinct features of a room. Pointy and soaring sounds mix, like gravel poured along cement moulds, for unclear means, to unknown ends – but the result, if nothing else, arrives in the impression of the sound on the adhesive and impressive perceptions of the crowd, standing around like mushrooms in the shadows.

I let the sounds continue here, getting wild and restless from time to time, because in the next room, in a sofa there, I left a book by the Dalai lama, and I’m going back to this book now, raising the page to my face, reading:

All phenomena, whether impermanent or permanent, have parts. The parts and the whole depend on other, but they seem to have their own entities. If the whole and its parts existed the way they appear to you, you should be able to point out a whole that is separate from its parts. But you cannot.