Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stockhausen Lectures

Never have I seen someone elucidate so eloquently about music or creativity. Based in science as well as spirit, Stockhausen's ideas are rock solid and fully hold up under scrutiny. While I was very aware of his importance and I had heard a few pieces and read about him, the genius of Stockhausen remained illusive to me until I heard him speak about his ideas. I cant recommend watching all the videos below all the way through enough. For the uninitiated there is a 48 min documentary titled Tuning In that serves as a good introduction. It intersperses his music with segments from the series of seven lectures he gave in English in the UK in 1972 and 1973. Also below are two of the lectures themselves (the rest are on youtube). The first is a clear, concise breakdown of the Four Criteria of Electronic Music: what it is actually is and how it functions, direct from the pioneer himself. He details the creation of his piece Kontate and discusses many of his most important discoveries. It's fascinating, educational, funny, insightful and mind expanding; absolutely essential viewing for anyone remotely interested in taking electronic music seriously. Below that is a three hour talk about his composition for two pianos and ring modulators titled Mantra. The manner in which he explains this universal piece makes it so one doesn't need to know how to read music to understand the concepts at work. He shares some especially revelatory wisdom during the QandA in part three, the final moments are powerful and moving.
So there we are.