|(KONTAKTE, with Benjamin Kobler and Michael Pattmann, 2015)|
As work neared completion on his massive LICHT opera cycle, Stockhausen had already developed plans for his next cycle of works, titled KLANG ("Sound"). Just as LICHT was organized around the 7 days of the week, KLANG was structured as 24 independent chamber pieces, with each work dedicated to one of the hours of the 24-hour day.
In contrast to LICHT, however, the compositional linchpin on which KLANG was based was a bit different. The 29 combined hours of LICHT were based on a "super-formula", which can be described as a highly articulated 3-layer melodic theme. The works in the KLANG cycle however tended towards "moment form", in which pieces were comprised of independent sections ("Moments"), each with their own inner life and/or "raison d'être". These Moments are in fact eligible for re-sequencing in various ways, and this concept was explored in the 5th through 12th hours (which are each comprised of five similar Moments, but arranged in different sequences). Aside from the concept of structuring each work as a sequence of Moments, Stockhausen also decided upon a KLANG pitch row (a set sequence of 24 pitches spanning 2 octaves) with which to mold his melodic textures.
It might be pertinent to note that none of the pieces seem to have any kind of text directly connected to the named hour (if anything, texts have a more sacred or liturgical nature). However, the "post midnight" hours do seem to have a "cooler" feeling to them, and the noon hour (COSMIC PULSES) certainly reaches a peak energy level at its climax. The remaining hours are named after stellar objects from the Urantia Book (which was also the source of many proper names in LICHT).
In any case, KLANG is comprised of a series of mostly solo or small group chamber and electro-acoustic pieces, each named after one of the 24 hours of the day (although the last 3 hours were never completed). The first four "hours" (HIMMELFAHRT, FREUDE, NATÜRLICHE DAUERN and HIMMELS-TÜR) are completely unique, free-standing works. This is followed by a series of linked works where parts from Hour 5 (HARMONIEN) are used to generate a series of 7 unique, re-sequenced adaptations, which make up Hours 6 through 11.
The monumental electronic work COSMIC PULSES (Hour 12) takes the KLANG "clock" to its noon midpoint, after which selected electronic layers from COSMIC PULSES support a cycle of 8 vocal and instrumental solo works in Hours 13 through 21. Below are links to pages devoted to the works in the KLANG Cycle.
THE KLANG CYCLE
- 1st Hour: HIMMELFAHRT (ASCENSION)
- 2nd Hour: FREUDE (JOY)
- 3rd Hour: NATÜRLICHE DAUERN (NATURAL DURATIONS)
- 4th Hour: HIMMELS-TÜR (HEAVEN'S DOOR), 24 TÜRIN (24 "Door-Rin")
- 5th - 12th Hours: HARMONIEN, SCHÖNHEIT, BALANCE, GLÜCK, HOFFNUNG, GLANZ, TREUE, ERWACHEN
- 13th Hour: COSMIC PULSES
- 14th - 21st Hours: HAVONA, ORVONTON, UVERSA, NEBADON, JERUSEM, URANTIA, EDENTIA, PARADIES
As far as is known, Stockhausen left no surviving notes on what he might have done for the three remaining KLANG hours. One can assume that future commissions would have dictated the instrumentation, and that the pieces would've been structured in Moments, using the KLANG pitch row as raw material for their melodic content.
KLANG Wiki entry
KLANG 2018 in Philadelphia
KLANG 2016 in New York