Stockhausen Edition no. 26

Karlheinz Stockhausen – “Sirius”:
Electronic music and trumpet, soprano, bass clarinet, bass (1975 – 1977).
Markus Stockhausen [trumpet], Annette Meriweather [soprano], Suzanne Stephens [bass clarinet], Boris Carmeli [bass].
Stockhausen 26. Duration: CD 1: 54:27. CD 2: 41:25. Total duration: 95:52.

It begins with a slowly emerging hum - like a disturbance in the wiring of your sound equipment -; then evolves into a murmur of great timbral depths, finally releasing itself into a spinning, swooshing, disturbing sound of higher frequencies in the foreground, panning between the speakers in an ominous descent, cutting through your skull, slowing down rapidly and coming to a halt, while the deep humming sound continues, until a second spinning occurrence appears, and a third, and a fourth, after which the murmur ceases and the last spinning sound slows down in slow-motion revolutions and stops.

That is the beginning of Stockhausen’s “
Sirius”, utilizing a special rotation loudspeaker and electronic tape to visualize the descent and landing of spaceships from Sirius.

Stockhausen's rotation loudspeaker

A bass voice then commences in deep registers, calling out: “I am North! – and thus begins the presentation of the four soloists and their characters.
In this part some concrete tape sounds appear, like the chopping of ice and crunching steps in cold snow (the
Bass representing North, Earth, the Man, Night, Seed, Winter) and fire crackling (the Trumpeter representing Fire, Youth, Morning, Bud, Spring), streaming water in a brook (the Soprano representing Water, the Woman, Midday, Blossom, Summer), a forceful wind (the Bass Clarinet representing West, Air, Friend, Beloved, Evening, Fruit, Autumn).

The work is subdivided into three main parts;

1. Presentation of the soloists.
2. The Wheel of the Year.
3. The Annunciation.

Stockhausen’s beautifully drawn overview of the work looks like this:

Some text from the Presentation:

We ignite in you the Joy of the Senses!

We remind you of the Diversity of the Soul!

We preserve your Undying Hope!

We candle your Longing for the Light of your Home in the Stars!

May the Music of Sirius be the Felicitation to the Pioneers of Earth and in Space. May a more Divine Mankind come out of your works!

Stockhausen’s composition “
Sirius” can be characterized – on one level – as a visual and musical representation of the year, of the annual cycle, (but it is of course much more than that!) and the characters or occurrences we might ascribe its different parts. Michael Kurtz writes in his “Stockhausen – A Biography”: “The four soloists represent the four seasons, times of day and points of the compass, the four elements, the four stages in the growth of plants (seed, bud, blossom and fruit), as well as man, youth, woman and beloved.”

Kurtz goes on to say that “
Sirius” can be considered Stockhausen’s attempt at “a modern mystery play clothed as a science fiction story”.

The musical basis for “
Sirius” rests with the 12 formula-melodies from “Tierkreis”, whereas the tape part’s melodies originate in the four seasons, represented exclusively by the four “Tierkreis”-melodies “Aries”, “Cancer”, “Libra” and “Capricorn”.
Depending on when the performance takes place, it starts with the appropriate section after the “
Presentation”; i.e. “Capricorn” in the winter, “Aries” in the spring, “Cancer” in the summer and “Libra” in fall. The Summer version is recorded on these CDs, so it starts with “Cancer” and continues with “Libra” “Capricorn” and “Aries”.

The tape part – excellently realized in exciting displays - differs, too, depending on which version is performed.
The tape part was realized by Stockhausen at the WDR studio in Cologne during a two-year period of great strain. Such was his workload at the outset, that he at one time fainted, and had to spend a week in hospital, where he fasted. During that fast he absorbed a vision about how the work should evolve, and took it from there. (We might also recall that Stockhausen fasted in connection with conceiving “
Aus den sieben Tagen”, even ordaining a four day fast in the performance instruction for one of the pieces of the work; “Goldstaub”)

Stockhausen says about the electronic part: “By listening to this music, in particular to the Wheel, one perceives how the newly discovered means and structural possibilities of electronic music can awaken in us a completely new consciousness for revelations, transformations and fusions of forms, which would never have been possible with the old musical means, and become increasingly similar to art of metamorphosis in nature.”

The tape part melodies are evolved in numerous ways by way of a voltage-controlled synthesizer, enabling Stockhausen to transform the melodies, combine them with one another, sometimes fusing many melodies together in a simultaneous display of
Zodiac excellence.

For the especially interested it might be of value to read this quote from the preface of the printed score, giving some idea of the complexity of the realization process of the electronic part – actually sending thrills of pleasure through my nervous system by its sheer ingenuity of applied imagination:

The synthesizer which was used (EMS Synthi 100) is equipped with a 3-track sequencer. If the name ‘Aries’ or ‘Cancer’ or ‘Libra’ or ‘Capricorn’ stands in the upper system of the score (where the electronic music is notated), this indicates that these formulas from my composition ‘Tierkreis’ were stored as voltage sequences in the sequencer (maximum of 3 simultaneously). Each of the 3 sequencer tracks has two channels: one channel for the pitches and one for the rhythm. Thus a total of 6 voltage sequences are stored.
The speed at which these formulas were played could be changed by the triggering from the sequencer clock over a very large range, discontinuously (with a 5-octave keyboard) and/or continuously (with joysticks, small control levers).
Groups of generators and groups of filters as well as the clock were driven with variable volume by these formulas (voltage sequences) via faders. It was thus possible to continuously add 2 or 3 of these voltage sequences or blend them into one another, using the faders (fading the melodies and rhythms in and out). Hence, by means of faders, the time intervals (rhythms) – defined by the stored voltages – could also be added, expanded, and compressed to the point of complete periodicity (time compression is not meant here!). If then, in the case of maximal compression (complete periodicity) the trigger-pulses of the clock were turned off, transition from rhythmicized music to a constant pitch resulted (for example in the ‘
Aries’ section).
When in the electronic music one of the 4
Zodiac formulas can be heard in its original melodic and rhythmic form, this means that all parameters are being driven by the two voltage-sequences (channels) of only 1 of the 3 sequencer tracks. There was therefore no problem in combining the melodic shape of one formula with the rhythmic shape of another formula (for example in the ‘Aries’ section p. 1, the ‘Aries’ melody appears with the ‘Capricorn’ rhythm, on p. 2 the ‘Capricorn’ rhythm is continuously exchanged with the ‘Aries’ rhythm, then near the end of p. 2 the ‘Capricorn’ rhythm and ‘Cancer’ rhythm are gradually added to the ‘Aries’ rhythm).
The same holds true for the addition of melodies – this is not a mixing (!) -, for progressive subtraction and compression of melodies, or for expansion of melodies, independently of rhythmic and timbral processes!
The control of the timbres (filters) by the
Zodiac formulas followed the same principle. Thus, it can be understood how, for instance in the ‘Aries’ section, the ‘Libra’ formula appears as a timbre melody of the constant fundamental pitch A (i.e. the melody is faded out completely) and that a second timbre melody (‘formant melody’) joins it in counterpoint above the constant fundamental pitch.
In all fast groups notated as grace notes, the rhythm is exactly as differentiated as in the slower fragments, but is too fast to be heard as such. The notation, particularly of fast rhythms, is therefore only approximate.
When melodic fragments become undecipherable because of discontinuos switching to high speed, or are heard as glissandi contours, they are represented approximately, graphically with lines. […] Where such graphic simplification was not possible, general indications such as ‘indistinguishably fast’, or, as in the ‘
Cancer’ section, p.1, bar 1, ‘jump to the 26th note’ (of ‘Aries’ melody) was used.
All melodic occurrences are obtained from the described principle of forming.
Thus, the melodic shape of the formula can be recognized even in extremely slow tempi, when one precisely reads the score and listens through all the layers. For example, see the very slow ‘
Aries’ melody, which is graphically represented using lines, beginning in bar 3 of the ‘Cancer’ section which extremely slowly accelerates and gradually transforms into the ‘Cancer’ melody, finally – still very slow – becoming notatable after more than 3 minutes in normal rhythmic values.
Many verbal indications have been written as reminders. In the ‘
Cancer’ section p. 9, uppermost of the 3 layers (= staves), for example, ‘Aries/Cancer-rhythms ‘ is written, meaning that the ‘Aries’ melody (with glissandi, as indicated already since p. 7) is driven by the combined rhythms of both ‘Aries’ and ‘Cancer’ (on p. 7 are also the words ‘Cancer rhythm added’), and that the transformation process indicated by the words ‘Cancer rhythm added’ is completed at this point. At the beginning of the lower system the word ‘Aries’ means the ‘Aries’ melody.
The word ‘formants’ means: partials made predominant by means of resonance filtering. These are voltage controlled as a timbre melody.
The indication in the ‘
Cancer’ section, p. 15, ‘1 period now has a duration of 6 seconds’ means that the complete rhythm of ‘Aries/Cancer’ runs through every 6 seconds on the constant pitch G. The indication ‘but tempo no longer varied’ indicates that the 6-second duration of the period is regular from here on

Naturally, complete enjoyment of the above text is only possible with the score at hand, but it gives an idea of the Stockhausenesque methods of working.

Suzanne Stephens (bass clarinet)
(Photo: Ralph Fassey)

The Wheel” – the passage of the year – lasts in excess of an hour, which lets each of the four main melodies “Aries”, “Cancer”, “Libra” and “Capricorn” dominate for about a fourth of an hour each, and the exact durations on this recording are 24:29 for “Cancer”, 18:44 for “Libra” 13:40 for “Capricorn” and 14:41 for “Aries”. The 12 melodies divide the hour in a manner similar to a clock.

The Wheel” is a complex, continuously evolving, swelling and contracting sonic space, in a delicate flux of transformations and never-ceasing change, wherein the melodies, timbres, rhythms of “Cancer”, “Libra”, “Capricorn” and “Aries” transform into one another, independently or together. Stockhausen points out that one melody out of the four main ones always is approaching, another always departing. The 8 remaining melodies of the Zodiac emerge only by themselves, and are expressively not partaking in any transforming processes.

All the texts of “
Sirius” except the concluding “Annunciation” were written by Stockhausen. They include 12 short texts describing the characters of the human types according to the Zodiac. Stockhausen explains that all other words are “reciprocal appeals, explanations, corrections, gibes, defenses, compliments and encouragements of the soloists appropriate to these texts of the Zodiac”.
Three languages are used in all versions of “
Sirius”. In this version English is the dominant language, and German comes next. Italian is used in one verse of “Aries”.
The main language may change according to where in the world a performance is conducted.

Sirius” should – says Stockhausen - preferably be performed in a planetarium or under a nocturnal sky (compare “Sternklang”). The work began as a commission from the West German government to celebrate the bicentenary of The United States of America, and Stockhausen dedicated it “To the Pioneers of Earth and Space”.

X-ray picture of Sirius in the Canis Major constellation

Sirius, Canicula, The Dog Star, Aschere, Alpha Canis Majoris, HR 2491, HD 48915: Those are some of the names given the brightest star – our Sun disregarded - in the Universe from our viewpoint on Earth.
Sirius is fairly close, by astronomical standards, barely 9 light-years away; a light-year being the distance light travels in a year, at 300 000 kilometers a second. In comparison might be mentioned that our Sun is about 8 light minutes away, and our Moon about 1 light second away. However, we know of star clusters 13 billion light-years away…
Our closest star – again the Sun disregarded – is Vega, at about 4 light-years’ distance.

In Zoroastrian tradition Sirius represents the Spirit of Wisdom.

The Egyptians have always had a very special connection to Sirius. The heliacal rising of Sirius coincided with the start of the annual Nile floods, which, before the Assuan Dam was built, were crucial to the Egyptians’ life and prosperity.
Plutarch said: “Sirius
is the one consecrated to Isis, for it brings water”.
Lucy Lamie writes, in her “
Egyptian Mysteries”: “Contrary to other rivers, the Nile begins its annual swelling in the hottest time of the year, at the beginning of the Dog Days, i.e. at the moment when Sirius rises at the same time as the Sun: a date which during the third millennium B.C. coincided with the Summer Solstice.”
The ancient Egyptians also regarded Sirius as the home of the departed souls.

Interestingly – especially in connection with Stockhausen and his opera cycle “
Licht” – Christianity replaced Osiris with the archangel Michael as the patron saint of the Nile floods. Stockhausen names Michael his protective angel.

The most well known occurrence in connection with Sirius may well be the Dogon people, a tribe of about 100,000 in western Africa, and that tribe's alleged knowledge of Sirius B, a dwarf star companion to the star Sirius. The Dogon are supposed to have known that Sirius B orbits Sirius and that a complete orbit takes fifty years – long before this was scientifically substantiated.

No matter how you look at it, Sirius has been an important cult star down the millennia.

Stockhausen at the WDR 1975

A state of mind or a physical transposition? That was a question about Stockhausen’s alleged stellar origin in the star system of Canis Major, bluntly asked him by Stefan Holmström - a reporter and producer at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation - at the Electronic Music Festival in Skinnskatteberg, Sweden in June of 2000, which was solely dedicated to the music of Stockhausen. The question can be said to be “blunt”, because this matter is hardly mentioned in the presence of Stockhausen, since many people, lacking the required imagination or self-knowledge, feel this subject is such a far cry from anything “realistic”, that they feel embarrassed or slightly frightened to ask Stockhausen up front. Still others are convinced that the idea stems from delusions and Stockhausenesque psychological anomalities.

Holmström asked Stockhausen if he could identify others who claim they originate on Sirius, and Stockhausen mentions that the conductor Tabaschnik, living in Switzerland, wrote in letters to him that he had friends who also claim they do, and once Tabaschnik showed up in the company of a person who said he originated on Sirius. However, Stockhausen says that is all, and that he hasn’t met any others who say they come from Canis Major, which in turn means that Stockhausen is no member of a secret clan of sorts, but just has his convictions, which were clarified to him in dreams, but Stockhausen hasn’t elaborated publicly on the exact contents of those dreams. Stockhausen also indicates that he doesn’t know what the inner experience of the person who accompanied Tabaschnik was, thereby insuring himself of legitimizing any less serious quasi following that might emerge in the prevalent New Age shallowness of latter day pseudo philosophy.
Stockhausen also says that he’s heard of several groups of people in the U.S.A. who say they come from Sirius. Stockhausen also reminds the interviewer that the Egyptians always have understood that Sirius is a very important place for them. “
Isis and Osiris are closely related to the star Sirius”, Stockhausen says in the interview.
When asked by Stefan Holmström what it is that designates a Sirius spirit Stockhausen immediately replies:

Musicality; extreme musicality and extreme openness for unknown musical forms, and what is most important is that the musical forms must always be related to natural, organic events on this planet, which means to the elements – the four elements – to the movements that we can experience in nature - to the rhythms – and to the harmonic principles that one should study very much; the ecology of this planet, and human bodies; the rhythms of the organs of the human body etcetera – so this is a typical sign that the spirit tries to relate music to the natural laws of musical parameters; melody, harmony; rhythm in particular.”

Annette Meriweather (soprano)
(Photo: Ralph Fassey)

Finally, when asked if the spirituality he mentioned had to do literally with the star Sirius, or if it was more of “a state of mind-thing”, Stockhausen gave this answer:

That’s a very interesting question. I think that the solar system in which we live now, here - you and me -, has a certain influence on us, as long as we live here, and that all the rhythms and the magnetism between the moons and the planets and revolutions and rhythms of the nine planets around the sun, and the quality of the sun, and the vibrations coming from the sun, cause what you call ‘the spirituality’, which means it is never the less limited to our solar system. As you have just quoted before, the fact that someone says: ‘I think I come from Sirius’, is outside of our solar system; something else. What happens in my work ‘Sirius’, where it says that 200 000 000 suns are rotating around Sirius, means that already a large part of our galaxy is rotating around Sirius. Most of the terrestrials, who live here now, are not interested in that, so the spirituality is always related to how far you see, and how much you feel being a particle of the Universe of Universes. You see, there are certain spirits – and I belong to them – who think that there are at least 700 000 universes at the same time, in different time-layers, and completely different spaces; not comparable to our concept of space, so I think music, which is related to a Super-Universe, sounds very different than music which is only related to rhythms of this planet and to the parameters of everything we can distinguish of this planet. Spirituality is not one spirituality, but there are many spiritualities, depending on where you live.”

It is probably wise, though, to keep a low profile on this, since the world of people, for the most part, is an ignorant place, where subtle ideas like Stockhausen’s Sirius identification stirs hostility out of the common man.
Also, it is not fair to even discuss the matter if one isn’t able to broaden one’s thoughts and conceptions to encompass visions and lines of reasoning that go beyond the daily struggle for sustenance; if one cannot sit back on the porch in a dark fall night, look at the stars, feel one’s breath and bodily vibrations – and start to wonder; if one cannot mentally rise above the confusing mess of local impulses of daily hypes and rest momentarily in a magnificent overview of life and life’s circumstances. We must go to the mountains of our mind and breathe!
A cosmic awareness is bound to rise out of humanity, and I can feel it brewing. In fact, simply the findings of science should give rise to a heightened level of consciousness, and when you pair those findings – about elementary particles or elementary vibrations of super strings, as well as astronomical revelations – with ancient teachings of a religious or philosophical content, you’re bound to get at least a new notion of Time and Space and Existence and the spiritual base for that which is.

Boris Carmeli (bass)
(Photo: Ralph Fassey)

Stockhausen’s life’s work and his conception of the world are two areas that merge and blend in an indivisible unity. This is important to remember when studying his compositional activities, and explains how he can write a score wherein the singer sings about elementary particles, but also the fate of Christ (“Atmen gibt das Leben”). The world, Stockhausen’s view of existence and his compositions cannot be divided. His art lives in the world, and is the world. Whether he composes, paints, writes or plainly thinks, it is in a unity of complex forces, teaming up in an utmost deliverance of seemingly opposed forces, making his music a true music of the world for the world; a real “world music”, a “cosmic music”.

Since we all – scientifically speaking - physically are made of stardust (compare Joni Mitchell’s “
Woodstock” from the album “Ladies of the Canyon” [1970] in which she sings: “We are Stardust, we are Golden, caught in the Devil’s bargain, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the Garden”) and since the star Sirius and it’s dwarf companion constitute the center of our part of the galaxy, having approximately 200 000 000 stars revolving around it, clearly upholding a center of force, distributing the matter which stars (and ourselves) are made of - it isn’t in the least unrealistic to claim to come from Sirius; not more unrealistic than any other claims, of which the most stunning one would be that life and ourselves just “happened” to come into existence for no particular “reason”, as a “whim of chance”, and that when we die, when this body dies, we’re gone – and that’s another “whim of chance”, and that’s it. What kind of worldview is that? How realistic is that? What does that predominant worldview of the Western World tell you about the Western World? Astray, I say, astray; it has gone far, far astray, into a self-proclaimed unconsciousness, in which it indulges with ignorant pride. (Can anyone tell me – for sure – what they are and where they come from? Huh? Well?)
This state of affairs taken into account, it is no wonder that Stockhausen’s worldview doesn’t fit in with the concept most people in the West have of life and themselves, regarding themselves as slaves of Time and Matter.

Albert Einstein said (before he went off “sniffing drain pipes and reciting the alphabet”): “
God doesn’t play dice with the Universe”.

I think many people, too, are surprised at the matter-of-factly way in which Stockhausen replies to some questions, like the one put forth to him at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm at a seminar in connection with the Polar Prize festivities, by the reporter Camilla Lundberg from The Swedish Broadcast Corporation, who, after Stockhausen had just said that he prays every morning for about twenty minutes, asked him: “To whom do you direct your prayers?”, simply receiving the prompt reply: “God!”. The same way, some people may feel surprised at the natural and relaxed, causal, way that Stockhausen expresses long, complex aspects on spirituality, existence; the core of life and ourselves. I find it extremely refreshing!

Markus Stockhausen (trumpet)
(Photo: Ralph Fassey)

On the emergence of the idea of the work “SiriusStockhausen gives the following clues, translated by the reviewer from Stockhausen’s quotation from his sketchbook from 1975, published in the folder “Kompositions-Kurs über SIRIUS” from the Stockhausen Courses in Kürten 2000:

In connection with the composition ‘Sternklang’ I closely watched the star constellations in Kürten. From my study as well as from the kitchen my attention focused time and again on the constellation Canis Major and the star Sirius. Without knowing the reason why, I had fantastic visions of being a descendant of Sirius. On 24th January 1974 I gave Julika a dog, which she had wished for so long, and I named him Sirius. Since then my curiosity about Sirius has slowly and steadily grown. I came upon the information about Sirius, the central sun, in Lorber’s Kosmos in gesitiger Schau.’ ”.
Stockhausen goes on to say that during his stay in hospital after being over-worked with the electronic music of “
Sirius”, he had a vision that children born during the period 25th July – 5th September – when our sun and Sirius rise together – were beings (musically gifted) from Sirius, traveling on rays of light to get here.

A performance of “
Sirius” is not easily arrived at, engaging quite specified requirements. You have to build podia, arrange the 16 loudspeakers around the hall; a mixing console - as usual in the middle of the hall –, 4 x 3 spotlights for the soloists and 4 more spotlights directed at the center of the hall for the procession of “Capricorn”. However, the most difficult and also the most important projection is that of a realistic firmament on high! The ideal performing environment in that respect is a planetarium, but the effect can also be achieved, albeit less illusoric, through a perforated aluminum foil arranged with light projectors.
The set-up of the performance area is quite original, with the audience divided, ideally, into 4 sections around the square floor, all facing the middle of the hall, where the mixing console sits. Aisles run in a cross-shape through the hall, and at the four ends of those aisles, by the walls of the hall, the performers are placed up on their podia, which are 160 centimeters high. Left and right of each podium there are loudspeaker stands, 3 meters high, with 2 loudspeakers each, which consequently means that 16 speakers are required.

During the performance each of the four soloists monitor the 8-track electronic tape monophonically through earphones. The four soloists are individually amplified through a microphone, and subsequently mixed with the two tracks of the tape, which are fed through the two loudspeakers to the left and right behind each of them. This way the soloists synchronize with the tape.
The sound projectionist – Stockhausen – at the console in the center, regulates the relative dynamics of the 8-track tape and 4 soloists in relation to one another and the tape.

Stockhausen rehearsing "Sirius" 1977
at Cloître Saint-Louis, Aix-en-Provence
(Photo: Ralph Fassey)

The pure and unfiltered listening to “Sirius” is a spellbinding experience. The initial sounds portraying the descent and landing of the stellar travelers is a head-on start, but the continuation is an adventure of increased pleasure of richness of sound, un-heard sounds, new sounds, readily transforming your perceptional abilities!
The soloists are wonderful, brilliant, sparkling; a stellar ensemble of stellar abilities! The texts are spoken, sung, recited!
In marvelous displays of virtuosity – reflecting the many hours and days and weeks of practice – the soloists (without a director) sometimes perform their parts synchronously, in duets, so that the bass and the soprano may sing in perfect synch, or for example the bass singer and the bass clarinet! It’s marvelous!

There is a continuous marvel in me at the experience of “
Sirius”, but let me just chose a few random instances, which caught my ear a little extra:

At about 10:30 into index 2 of CD 1 (“
Cancer”), right after the soprano calls out: “Capricorn, you are confusing me”, Stockhausen bursts into the most delicate and beautiful electronic music, behind and with the singers and instrumentalists, in perfect communion with the sound web as a whole, in a completely masterly display of excellence!
At 12:40 in the same section little pauses are inserted, when everything gets silent. The pauses increase in length as they recur, and the electronic part gets more invasive, but still extremely beautiful, bubbling along, rolling along in tickling finger tip touches! The pauses increase still more in length, putting you in a state of intense waiting; apprehensive waiting, released in the most wonderful mixture of counter-pointed and synchronous performance simultaneously, and with the incredible electronic layer spreading its mystical atmosphere. This is Stockhausenesque virtuosity at its very best!
Later on in the same section an almost devastating show-off of musical beauty is revealed in the combination of electronic sounds and the ebony-colored Schönheit of the spiraling, dancing figures of the bass clarinet. Stunning!
In index 3 of CD 1 (“
Libra”) at about 4:14, the bass and the soprano perform synchronously, after having approached each other right before the intense merger. To think that this synchronous singing goes on as the performers stand on podiums in different parts of the room, without a conductor to lead them, is almost unbelievable, and the effect of this Stockhausen music is bordering on the tear-inducing; it’s so beautiful and brilliant, so forcefully prismic! Not only do they perform in synch with each other, but with the electronic tape also!
Index 1 of CD 2 (“
Capricorn”) starts in a guttural, abrupt tour de force of an incredible cooperation between the bass singer and the electronic music, with the other performers soaring around them in spirals. This is one of the most incredulous music passages I’ve ever heard – and believe me; I’ve heard a lot! This knocks me out! The electronic layer here behaves like a thundering under-world of shuddering earthquakes rushing through the cracks and faults of the rock bottom, having you gasp for air in the compressions of the sub-woofers!
Index 2 of CD 2 (“
Aries”) is a very forceful story, with intensity building up in thick and impenetrable layers of sound, moving forth, invincible, shoving everything aside as it goes through everything without slowing down the least! After a while the beautiful “Aries” melody is sung and played. Soon you can make out the rippling sound of the music box playing the same melody. Shattering stuff, this! Out of this world! Completely original! Completely Stockhausenesque!

Before the whining of the spaceships begins, as they’re gearing up for the ascent from Earth, this text from Jakob Lorber’s “
Der Kosmos in geistiger Schau” [page 90] is pronounced by the soloists, the text carried in a narrative manner on a backdrop of the soprano singing and the instruments playing from “Tierkreis”:

Only this period of creation has the virtue – still indiscernible for you – that in the entire eternal infinite it is the only one in which I, creator of all worlds, have completely taken on the nature of the human flesh.
I have chosen for Myself within the entire, immense Universe, this particular capsule, and within this, the local universe whose central sun is Sirius, and amongst the 200 million suns rotating around
Sirius, I have chosen just your Earth where I would incarnate as human being…
Here I will raise, for all times and eternities to come, children completely similar to Me, who, together with Me, will reign over the entire infinite

Let there be Light!
(Gustav Doré)


Volume 27