Seminar 28th July 2002 (1/8)

Stockhausen's daily KINDERFÄNGER seminar
in the Sülztalhalle, Kürten school complex
(Photo: Ingvar Loco Nordin)

Dear listeners,

The KINDERFÄNGER – part of MONTAG aus LICHT – was performed last year here on this stage, and right after the Courses Kathinka Pasveer, Antonio Perez, Benjamin Kobler and myself recorded the work in a studio in Cologne, and I had the wonderful opportunity to record it on 24 channels; completely separated channels, and after the mix down I decided to let you hear this year the result.

We had an opportunity last year to hear
LICHTER-WASSER in [a] 24-channel recording, and this is a completely new relationship with music, that one can record music without mistakes and with perfect dynamic balance in such a way that one can hear every instrument individually. This has never existed in [the] history of music, even […] in the 20th century.
It needs a lot of time and a special technique.
That’s why I decided to analyze

Now I expect that every one of you has this booklet, [a booklet on
DER KINDERFÄNGER that Stockhausen had written for these seminars] which is the content of the eight seminars that I’m giving until next Sunday.
I wrote it in English, and it contains many examples. The composers will get to the details of the notes, the durations, dynamics, timbres… at least […] after the seminar of tomorrow, so the day after tomorrow we start analyzing note by note, until the very end, and for quite a few of you it might be hard to sometimes sit for ninety minutes and hear only very few notes in one layer, but I will insist to listen to each layer, so I can understand if someone is not interested in such slowed-down layers of music.

Today I will speak about the general concept of
the KINDERFÄNGER, and hopefully we get to the first Tonszenen [tone scenes] acoustically projected, 4-track inside the 24-track recording, and then tomorrow we hear every Tonszene; how it is projected in space, and how it was produced with special space-projecting devices.

DER KINDERFÄNGER is one of 296 pieces - as we say, musicians - which I have composed. It lasts about 35 minutes, and I say this, because when I came here this afternoon I thought: “What is the most important content to say at the beginning?”. Everybody knows that since 25 years I am composing with a so-called super formula, which we will again analyze, what concerns the Monday limb, as I say, and the section of the Monday limb – which is a very short section – which is then the basis of the KINDERFÄNGER, but what is important is that in all these works I had to have – before I decided about the details of quantities – I had to have a musical image. I don’t mean a picture. I don’t mean a vision; also a vision. The vision of the score comes a little later, [sometimes] in a few works simultaneously with that image, but the most important is the image, and by image I don’t mean… how it is written, how it is performed; I mean a musical situation, an atmosphere – and the atmosphere must fascinate me. I must have a very new feeling, to be in a musical situation, and when I’m caught by such an image, in sound and spacing and sometimes also already the performers, the musicians… then I start working like an engineer, and I decide what part of my material, which I have already decided a long time ago, I am going to use, but that image, that atmosphere, is important, so the atmosphere is an archetypal one.
I come from this region, and as a child already I was fascinated by this flute player, here in Westfalia, who – this is the legend – was finally catching the interest of many children, because he wanted to revenge. They had treated him very badly in the town, in Hamel, and then he played so beautifully that the children followed him, and he caught all the children by his playing, and he was such a crazy person that the parents lost their children, and he took them away, far, far away, and this is happening in
DER KINDERFÄNGER at the end of MONDAY FROM LIGHT. Ave appears, and she is the mirror of Eva, and she is a young man, but in reality a female person, and encounters Eva, and then they have a beautiful dialogue in front of a lot of singers; male singers first, and then mixed choir, and then the children appear between the legs of the adults, and then suddenly, Ave turns into this Pied Piper, and all the others become afraid, and they leave, and then he literally turns around the mind[s] of these children, and plays so crazily with them that they follow him.

In the opera –
MONDAY FROM LIGHT – this is all performed from memory. The children and all the performers, choir singers, but I have made then, in 2000, a version just for flute and two synthesizer players - in the original there are three synthesizer players, and I will explain what the function of these three players are -, a percussionist who is like a person in a fair, changes his costume all the time, and he has all sorts of instruments, and he jumps around, also to attract the attention of the children, and in this version of 2000 I say that the flute player imagines the children, and that’s how he plays, like a musician dreaming, in his own world.

Please read page 3, and […] no need to repeat what is written there about the recording, who have recorded with us, what the original title is. EVE’s MAGIC is the third act of the opera; basset-horn, alto flute with piccolo, choir, children’s choir, modern orchestra; these are 3 synthesizers, 1 percussionist and tape, and [the] tape contains practically all orchestras of the world and all choirs of the world, and all sound sources of the world. You will hear that, the Tonszenen, the sound scenes, are 4-track; just says one word: “tape” – but it’s multiple tape, even 8-track tape for the mixed choirs and […] 4-track tape for the Tonszenen, so I have already in MONTAG AUS LICHT used all sorts of events in the Tonszenen, and tried to combine them and to create what I call this trans-realistic world, as a further development of the surrealistic world.

The score of both versions – original version and of the version of 2000 – are available, and I would like to draw your attention to page 4 of the booklet, recording 2001. It was first recorded on 24 channels. Please, if you can, have a look also at the score. I have asked to […] multiply the score for many of you, if you don’t have access, or if you just can’t buy the score, there are many, many scores for you, which we have bound extra. Are they here? 40! So if anybody wants a score, there are scores available, and this is necessary; otherwise you don’t understand already now what I’m talking about.

The synthesizer 1 is recorded on channel 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… and you […] SYN. I. If you look at the score, page 1, […] you see A and B; two staves A and two staves B, at the very beginning sustained notes which are superimposed with the sound scene, but it starts at bar number 2, Takt zwei, and you see that synthesizer A has two systems and two staves, the upper one in […] clef and the lower one in base clef, and these two are recorded on two different channels. That is possible with a synthesizer. So, then, SYN. I – synthesizer player 1 – has another two staves with sustained notes. These sustained notes I will explain. They are [the] formula of
Eve going through the entire work of 35 minutes; such long notes.

So, in the next days you can profit a lot when you look at the pages which are following in this booklet, and which explain every note that is played. So there […] one, two… three, four… synthesizer A, synthesizer B, synthesizer 1.

Then comes percussion; provision for percussion, because in the recording we did not have the percussionist. Only later we added the percussion… and the synthesizer player 1 and 2 use their voice every now and then in the score. They shout, they sing, they make all sorts of strange noises sometimes. At one point they imitate a horse with their voice[s] etcetera, and that is recorded on the channels 7 and 8; originally it was recorded.

Then comes the flute with 4 microphones; 2 for the space, which means flutes [in] stereo further away, and two channels with stereo flute directly in front of the flutist, so when the flutist moves… - you will hear that today; we will play the recording very soon – then, when the flutist moves in the space, then this is stereophonically recorded two direct channels, and to indirect space channels, left and right.

Then comes synthesizer 2, which is in the score the lower one, who has 2 A and 2 B; 2 A the high and the low stave in A, you see it is pretty high in register, and the other one is in the middle of the register of audibility, and it says 226, bells. That is the bar number. After bar 226 there are no longer sound scenes, but there starts something else. They play bells, which you will hear individually […], so it becomes a different world. The Pied Piper is taking the children into a higher world, where there are bells, birds; bird sounds; very brilliant sounds.

Then come the Tonszenen. The Tonszenen are 4-track, 1, 2, 3, 4 channels, and after 226, on channel 1 and 2, we have recorded bells, all kinds of bells, and on channels 19, 20 are Tonszenen 3 and 4. We have recorded bird sounds. There is a whole collection of bird sounds which we have used to mix with the synthesizer sounds, and then come two channels, very important, 21, 22; trans. It means transformation in the score. You see that every time where there is a Tonszene, already on page 3 for the first time, it says “trans”, and that means… Ah, no! They start earlier even. At the very beginning, even at the top of the staves of synthesizer 1 and 2; trans! That means: from one Tonszene to the next there’s always a transformation performed, and originally, in the opera, the third synthesizer had only the transformations to make, from one to the other, and there are certain instructions how the transformations [are made]. I may take an element from the present sound scene, Tonszene, which you hear, an element, fragment, and transform it into the element, into one element freely chosen of the next Tonszene.

So this is a completely new task for musicians to invent transformations, and in the original it was improvised, but for this particular version we decided that Antonio Perez would make, based on the transformations of the very first recording, which my son Simon played in the performances, and […] I wanted to make the transformations more clear, and now they are on two separate channels, as you can see, and then they come, channels 23 and 24, Tropfen; drops; that means water drips. I will explain to you why I needed water drips. It is colored silence, as I call it in the big formula. Every now and then I use gefärbte Pausen; colored… what…? Pauses, the English word pauses has another meaning, but colored silence, so when no music is performed there is always sound, but I have, since many, many years used always colored silences of different… silences of different colors, and in this case it is of water drips, like in a cave of stalactites and stalagmites.

After this recording I produced what you see then in the next drawing; mix. That is the mix that I made in several days, and that’s what we are going to hear now. We hear, naturally, the result which is a stereo result, except of the Tonszene which are rear left, front left, front right and rear right; the movements in rotations, in diagonal movements etcetera, individual directions, in the corners, so there are these 4 tracks, and go through the second drawing, to the mix. Mix is basically sub-divided in 3 times 8 channels, and
Bryan is now reproducing this 24-channel tape on 3 Tascam 8-channel machines, and the first 8-channels are synthesizer 1 and percussion.
Percussion is very strange when you read the instructions [information] of the compact disc.
Andreas Boettger performed last year the percussion. Then, after I had said a few things in Hamburg, which he didn’t like, he left, and I decided then I’d play the percussion myself [audience laughter], and together with Antonio we have played now the percussion part for the recording. So this is the way I react.

Karl Gottfried Brunotte;
a regular at the Courses!
(Photo: Ingvar Loco Nordin)

to be continued / Loco

To seminar 2