Monday, November 2, 2015

FÜR KOMMENDE ZEITEN

Stockhausen playing the Kandy-drum in CEYLON (from LP)
www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
No. 33: FÜR KOMMENDE ZEITEN (For Times to Come) (1968-1970)
17 "intuitive music" text compositions
for electroacoustic ensemble or small ensemble
    Introduction
         During a period of personal upheaval and crisis, Stockhausen wrote a set of texts, AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN, which are essentially verbal instructions which an ensemble (usually small) could use to embark on a kind of "textural" improvisation.  These works would tend to establish a kind of "vibratory environment" and then gradually develop into new ensemble landscapes.  Stockhausen called these improvisatory journeys "intuitive music", and sometimes inferred that instead of playing from a score, the performers would receive musical vibrations from each other and possibly from some kind of external (spiritual?) force.   FÜR KOMMENDE ZEITEN is basically a second collection of texts for use in creating intuitive music improvisations (it's recommended to read the text on AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN for more background information).

         AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN was written in a very short period under physically and mentally taxing conditions, but FÜR KOMMENDE ZEITEN was written over the span of a few years, usually while teaching, traveling or touring.  For this reason they seem a bit more playful and less "intense".  The first 5 were written as "examples" while teaching intuitive music at the Darmstadt Summer Vacation Course in August 1968, the 6th (INTERVALL) a year later in Corsica (as a gift), the next 3 in Bali on the way to the Tokyo EXPO '70 concerts, and the last 8 in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) on the way back from the Tokyo concerts.  The 17 texts are named:

    Recordings
         In contrast to the pieces in AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN (in which 12 out of 15 texts are officially recorded), only a little over half of these works have been recorded with Stockhausen's participation (though at least most of the missing ones have been premiered by the group "Gentle Fire", presumably with Stockhausen's involvement). 

         CEYLON, ZUGVOGEL, JAPAN, and WACH were recorded in the 1970's and are now available on Stockhausen Edition CD 11, Special Edition Text CD 22 and on a Stockhausen EMI Classics release, respectively.  These feature a version of Stockhausen's "live electronics" group which was first established to play MIKROPHONIE I (for more on the unusual instrumentation of these performances (electronium, electrochord, tam tam, etc...), see PROZESSION and SPIRAL).  The recordings of JAPAN and WACH were actually engineered by Alan Parsons and not Stockhausen himself, so I'm not sure how involved the composer actually was with these 2 versions, but since the players are basically core members of the Stockhausen Group (playing Stockhausen's texts), it seems appropriate to include them here.

         VERKÜRZUNG, WACH (2nd recording), ANHALT, VORAHNUNG, INNERHALB and WELLEN were recorded and released on Stockhausen Edition CD 17.1 in 2005, and were performed by the "Ensemble for Intuitive Music, Weimar", a trumpet, cello, piano and electronics group which originally began playing intuitive music without Stockhausen's involvement, but in these recordings were guided by the composer's presence. 

    JAPAN (11:41) Composed 70.07.06
    Recorded 71.12.08-10
    Abbey Road Studios with Alan Parsons
          This recording has a very "ritualistic" feeling, in that the woodblock rhythms seem to act as "signposts" against a backdrop of winding electronic ornamentation on drones or pedal tones.  The drums are very minimal, mainly playing some light trills in the beginning and ending sections.  This is the only intuitive text with a notated part. It's difficult to tell if the melody is actually played verbatim, but it seems fragments may be used as the basis for ornamentation.
    Upwards-rain
    in drops and threads
    and a melody.

    (includes a slow 5-bar melody in 3 or 4 phrases, basically spiraling up and then falling back down to the starting note)
    Harald Bojé Electronium, woodblock
    Peter Eötvös Electrochord, Japanese bamboo flute, woodblock
    Cristoph Caskel Percussion
    • 0:01 - held electronic tones with light drum rolls and isolated woodblock in the foreground
    • 0:51 - woodblock begins periodic rhythm, joined intermittently by 2nd woodblock, electronium plays ornamentation on a pedal tone
    • 2:10 - woodblock isolated again, quiet background electronics
    • 3:31 - electrochord adds some ornamentation figures
    • 5:15 - sparse accent groups gradually fade in and out
    • 6:34 - slow woodblock rhythm followed by electronic drones and a periodic blip
    • 7:50 - drums slightly more present, electronic drones replaced by wind sounds
    • 9:53 - electronium returns with high figures, drums fade in and out with thin attacks
    • 11:27 - final woodblock "cadenza"

         
    WACH
    ("Awake")
    (19:57) Composed 70.07.07
    Recorded 71.12.08-10
    Abbey Road Studios with Alan Parsons
    Isolated points with falling glissandi, perhaps quiet trills/accents...  Due to the instrumentation, similar to JAPAN, but much looser with more dialogue-like interaction.
    Star constellations
    with common points
    and falling stars
    with secret wishes

    and nocturnal forest
    with dialogues

    Abrupt end.
    Harald Bojé Electronium 
    Peter Eötvös Electrochord 
    Cristoph Caskel Percussion
    • 0:01 - isolated notes with metal textures
    • 0:34 - 3rd electronic voice enters (oscillating tone begins) starts a crescendo to a busier texture
    • 2:31 - syncopated accents with background drone
    • 3:58 - electronic figures become more "vocal" and/or farther away, cymbal bowing begins
    • 7:43 - percussion fades out, electronic points and long tones, eventually becoming a 3-layer dialogue
    • 9:42 - percussion "knocks" enter, electronics become deeper (wider frequencies)
    • 10:54 - gong-like textures enter, knocks fade out
    • 12:07 - low and high modulating tones begin, glissandi (no perc.)
    • 13:37 - intermittent electronic fragments dialogue over "bouncing" bass drones
    • 14:56 - bouncing bass replaced by bubbling high tones, triangle leads to rhythms on thin metallic accents 
    • 17:01 - high modulating drone enters, then isolated triangle 
    • 18:35 - low scraping texture enters, high drone fades out


    CEYLON (22:05) Composed 70.07.07
    Recorded 75.04.04
         Based on an unpublished form structure used for this particular recording (but included in the CD booklet!), the text seems to imply the sub-division of the group into 2 sections, or duos with commentary ("minorities") from the remaining players).  This text also includes a notated rhythm for use with the Kandy drum, a 2-headed hand drum (this rhythm is also picked up and used by the other instruments).  This performance is obviously driven by the Kandy drum rhythm, but the ring-modulated piano also gives it a kind of Balinese gamelan flavor.
    Everything divided into two
    and a few minorities

    For festive times a rhythm:
    (2 pages of rhythmic notation included)
    Harald Bojé Electronium 
    Peter Eötvös Persian Camel Bells, 
    Triangles, Synthesizer
    Aloys Kontarsky Ring-modulated Piano
    Joachim Krist Amplified Tam-tam
    Karlheinz Stockhausen Kandy Drum
    Tim Souster Sound Projection
    • 0:07: Kandy drum & camel bells duo play Ceylon rhythm, with background commentary from ensemble
    • 3:46: "Blocks & Rests" - mostly piano, electronium, & tam tam, with drum and bells commentary
    • 4:47: "Duo", piano & electronium play Ceylon rhythm, with some percussion ornamentation
    • 6:39: Quiet free section (Blocks & Rests, no bells)
    • 9:43: Transition to "Trio" - bells, tam-tam & electronium
    • 11:14: "Duo", piano & drum (trio continues underneath)
    • 13:38: Soft fragments, delicate textures
    • 18:08: Ensemble (forte)
    • 19:31: Ensemble (piano)
    • 21:00: Ensemble (pianissimo)


    Markus Stockhausen
    www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)

    ZUGVOGEL
    ("Bird of Passage") 
    (24:45) Composed 70.07.06
    Recorded 1975
         The first part of the text is pretty straight-forward, but the final phrase is obviously open to interpretation...  The recording here features Stockhausen's son Markus in his first prominent role in one of his father's works.  The recording has a definite free-jazz feel to it, but Stockhausen's "magic names" and other more ethnic instrumental textures add a somewhat more mystical feeling.  In general, the music seems always wanting to "take off", but then hesitates, only to re-gather strength for another try.
    Play/Sing as parallel as possible with the others
    Make exceptions and long pauses
    Bring the whole to a stand-still
    Fly away
    Markus Stockhausen Trumpet, effects, Flugelhorn
    John Miller Trumpet
    Harald Bojé Electronium 
    Aloys Kontarsky Piano
    Karlheinz Stockhausen Rin Bowls, Indian Bells, 
     slide and bird whistles, voice
    • 0:00 - competing tremolo textures, various crashing waves and intermittent low sound masses
    • 5:06 - electronium begins to fade out (energy subsides), trumpets play long tones, piano high tremolo figures, high metals eventually enter
    • 7:27 - some relaxation in piano, electronium resurfaces with low drone/oscillating textures
    • 9:09 - low electronium pulses, Stockhausen begins calling out names ("Hinari", "Garuda"...), slow piano accents
    • 10:33 - bass pulses and high electronic fragments, piano becomes more soloistic, trumpet and metals eventually join in, trumpets tremolo over bass pulses
    • 12:58 - sparse trumpet figures (pre-echo?) over quiet grunting electronic and percussive textures, piano drops out
    • 14:58 - piano returns beginning with a few pedal bass accents, trumpets fade out (becomes percussive tonguing), replaced by high electronics
    • 17:16 - muted brass accents returns, then overtaken by jagged piano figures, slide whistle 
    • 19:05 - long brass tones, modulating over frenetic high piano, electronium drones sometimes morse code accents, brass eventually become soloistic
    • 22:12 - bursts of piano tremoli with high electronium points and trumpet long tones 
    • 23:27 - sparse with growling electronium textures and howling brass, ends with high metal percussion

      

    Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar, 2005 
    (Michael von Hintzenstern, Matthias von Hintzenstern, Hans Tutschku, Daniel Hoffmann, Stockhausen)
    VERKÜRZUNG
    ("Shortening")
    (9:16) Composed 68.08
    Recorded 05.05.28
    Drones...until?
    Play or Sing
    Extremely long
    sounds
    until each one
    seems
    like
    an instant
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar:
    Daniel Hoffmann Trumpet
    Matthias von Hintzenstern Cello
    Michael von Hintzenstern Piano, Harmonium
    Hans Tutschku Synthesizer
    • Sustained tones or sound patterns (tremoli) (sometimes modulating), coming and going (sometimes abrupt endings, sometimes with rising tails), different kinds of homophonic layers result
       
    WACH
    ("Awake") 
    (10:00) Composed 68.07.07
    Recorded 05.05.28
    Isolated points with falling glissandi, perhaps trills/accents...
    Star constellations
    with common points
    and falling stars
    with secret wishes

    and nocturnal forest
    with dialogues

    Abrupt end
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar:
    Daniel Hoffmann Trumpet
    Matthias von Hintzenstern Cello
    Michael von Hintzenstern Piano, Harmonium
    Hans Tutschku Synthesizer
    • 0:03 - separated collections of accents (like drops), sometimes in unison groups and sometimes closely staggered, washed in reverb
    • 1:41 - the accents gradually become more evenly spread out, longer and more complex figures begin surfacing
    • 4:00 - intermittent drone elements appear as well as low gong-like sounds, short figures still in the foreground
    • 7:17 - some more frenetic figures enter, but texture is still very thick and resonant
    • 8:22 - "clacker" noises join in, the foreground figures become more like dialogues

    ANHALT
    ("Halt")
    (10:00) Composed 70.02.04
    Recorded 05.05.28
    Layered sound textures, play chordally if possible.
    Seek harmony with a co-player
    Hold still, so that the others can find harmony with you
    Seek harmony with another co-player
    Hold still, so that…
    Seek harmony with each of your co-players
    Seek harmony with a co-player
    AND at the same time hold still
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar:
    Daniel Hoffmann Trumpet
    Matthias von Hintzenstern Cello
    Michael von Hintzenstern Piano, Harmonium
    Hans Tutschku Synthesizer
    • 0:00 - disparate layers of sound textures: rattling sounds, soft piano fragments, drone
    • 1:01 - muted trumpet enters, rattling ends
    • 1:31 - cello replaces trumpet, soon also replaced by low synth
    • 2:50 - trumpet returns
    • 3:29 - cello 
    • 4:48 - trumpet briefly returns, piano rises, followed by cello, knocking sounds
    • 6:06 - rhythmic percussive dialogue between trumpet and piano
    • 6:38 - high cello bowing, joined by synth noises
    • 7:35 - piano returns, synth slowly falls, then joined by cello and trumpet
    • 8:33 - cello and synth duo drones, harmonics
    • 9:18 - muted trumpet returns for a final swell
     
    VORAHNUNG
    ("Presentiment")
    (9:29) Composed 70.07.06
    Recorded 05.05.28
    Staggered layers of sounds, interrupting each other, blending into each other, with clear divisions (attacks) of sound textures
    Place each note
    on the head of another
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar:
    Daniel Hoffmann Trumpet
    Matthias von Hintzenstern Cello
    Michael von Hintzenstern Piano, Harmonium
    Hans Tutschku Synthesizer
    • 0:02 - periodic solo and tutti attacks (different layer structures), sustained, sometimes players fade into an attack complex and crescendo until the next attack. Sounds can be drones, tremoli, sound samples etc...
    • 4:30 - some deviations/variations on the preceeding pattern
    • 6:17 - return to clearer structures
       
    INNERHALB
    ("Inside")
    (8:43) Composed 70.02.04
    Recorded 05.05.28
    Gradually staggered drone layers, eventually rising.  The use of overtone singing adds some nice variety to the layered texture, sometimes on unison pitches.
    Play a long note
    Penetrate into the note of a co-player
    (and then) another co-player
    When someone penetrates into your note
    make everything clear to him.
    (…)
    ...until all are moving within each other
    ...begin to burn
    and together coil into the heights
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar:
    Daniel Hoffmann Trumpet
    Matthias von Hintzenstern Cello
    Michael von Hintzenstern Piano, Harmonium
    Hans Tutschku Synthesizer
    • 0:02 - vocal overtone drones, soon joined/replaced by harmonium, trumpet, synth, cello...
    • 1:34 - rattling texture briefly surfaces, harmonium harmony rises and pulsates
    • 2:55 - cello leads a fade and swell using tremolo, leading to another thick ensemble texture, sometimes with synth "rushing noises"
    • 4:30 - trumpet briefly leads, followed by return of overtone singing, all basically on the same note
    • 6:03 - thicker harmonies return, followed by intense cello tremolo, rising muted trumpet
    • 7:10 - harmony spirals upwards
    • 7:57 - entry of percussive textures (cello, synth, etc..), ending with trumpet tremolo
       
    WELLEN
    ("Waves")
    (10:27) Composed 70.07.05
    Recorded 05.05.28
    Overlapping swells of sound, eventually blending into a static texture.
    Overtake the others
    Hold the lead
    Allow yourself to be overtaken
    Less often
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music Weimar:
    Daniel Hoffmann Trumpet
    Matthias von Hintzenstern Cello
    Michael von Hintzenstern Piano, Harmonium
    Hans Tutschku Synthesizer
    • 0:02 - ringing bells are soon joined by a subtle cello melody, making an initial "wave"
    • 1:36 - muted trumpet and irregular pulsing synth begin a second wave, which overtakes the first
    • 2:28 - scraped piano strings signal a new wave, soon accompanied by knocking 
    • 3:10 - rising muted trumpet, soon replaced by a piano trill
    • 3:42 - a synthetic whirring sound is soon joined by harmonic cello accents
    • 4:13 - synth drone, soon joined by low piano fragments, rattle, and cello tremolo, builds to a climax, which is replaced by...
    • 5:08 - trumpet tremolo soon replaced by piano, resonant wind noises, knocking, etc...
    • 6:00 - slow low melody on synth, soon joined by cello pizz., accelerating
    • 6:37 - fast rhythmic pulse enters, rattles, etc...
    • 7:29 - slow pulses build in multiple layers and speeds into a frenzy led by piano
    • 8:27 - trumpet drone surfaces, soon accompanied by isolated synth accents, cello, etc...
    • 9:12 - energy begins to build again, led by background synth noise(?)


    Unrecorded Works
         The remaining texts of FÜR KOMMENDE ZEITEN have been recorded by various people, but are not "official", in that Stockhausen was not involved in the sessions or groups.  Below are my "personal" interpretations of what they might mean and a few excerpts of the score texts.  Included are also links to where "unsupervised versions" (not necessarily matching my own interpretation) can be found:
    • ÜBEREINSTIMMUNG ("Unanimity"): quiet, long sounds and short loud sounds, increasingly in unison attacks.  Recorded by composer Richard Barrett's group here and also by the "Intuitive Music Quartet" (Giorgio Dini (bass), Mell Morcone (piano), Walter Prati (Synthesizer, Electronics), Mario Mariotti (Trumpet, Flugelhorn) here.
    • VERLÄNGERUNG ("Elongation"): extremely short events, an "Intuitive Music Quartet" version can be heard on YouTube.
    • ÜBER DIE GRENZE ("Across the Boundary"): play as a "Humorous Master-Interpreter", exploring instrumental technique.  As far as I know no CD recording is available of this one.
    • KOMMUNIKATION ("Communication"): long, quiet sounds vs. loud short sounds vs. agitated sounds, using a kind of unspoken communication.  Recorded by the "Intuitive Music Quartet" here.
    • INTERVALL ("Interval", piano duet for 4 hands): start with isolated single notes, adding intervals when unison attacks between the 2 players occur.  When 10-note chords are reached, begin moving towards each other (pitch-wise) on simultaneous attacks.  When a common harmony is reached, proceed to subtract notes on simultaneous attacks.  When a single notes are reached, the continue unison attacks, but begin cross-fading the other player's note (hummed) over your own note, etc...  This work was recorded by Steffen Schleiermacher and Josef Christof on this CD.  Another recording by Michael Century and Ryan Ross Smith can be seen here.
    • AUSSERHALB ("Outside"): long sounds "break through" other long sounds..."Break through the note of the whole...and keep out of it."  Recorded by the "Intuitive Music Quartet" here.
    • SCHWINGUNG ("Vibration"): vibrate in unison, then independently, repeat this cycle, accelerating until "fused", repeat from beginning.  Recorded by the "Intuitive Music Quartet" here.
    • SPEKTREN ("Spectra"): "Divide the sound of another...  Unite the divided sound of another...  Gradually introduce indivisible sounds".  Written in 1970, this concept and terminology seems to pre-echo the "spectral music" movement (STIMMUNG also somewhat prefigures that style/technique). A version can be found on a CD by "Prima Vista - Ensemble Pro Musica Da Camera".

    Sound Impressions
         These works are deceptively hard to play and even to adequately describe.  One of the fascinating things about Stockhausen's text pieces is that they sometimes start with some very precise indications, but then end on a very vague or ambiguous instruction.  I assume that once an initial "moment" texture/structure is achieved, the players may use the more poetic part of the text to go a bit farther afield and let "intuition" take over.  As previously mentioned, these texts are somewhat more playful and almost mischievous in comparison to the texts of AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN (which are more "monastic" in mood, I think).

         The available recordings of these works also have very different sound worlds, with each sounding very reflective of the time and place they were recorded.  The 2005 Weimar group's recordings seem more precisely-controlled and self-conscious ("studio-bound") than the more free-wheeling 1970's explorations ("in the wild").  JAPAN, WACH and CEYLON are also dominated by novel electronic textures, but the folk/ritualistic atmosphere balances things out in an organic way.  It would be very interesting to hear more recordings of these works by different acoustic and electronic ensembles (such as, for example, a string quartet or a Japanese gagaku orchestra...).

    Links
    Score
    Wiki Entry
    Instructions on the Interpretation of Intuitive Music (transcripts of rehearsal extracts w Stockhausen, hosted by Living Scores Learn)
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music, Weimar (site)
    Ensemble for Intuitive Music, Weimar (performing WACH live)
    Richard Barrett and ensemble: WACH
    Stockhausen: Conversations With the Composer (Interviews by Jonathan Cott, 1974)

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