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January 11, 2008

Comments

DJ Stig

Ahh the mp3 files aren't being found at the minute. Is this just because I'm in the UK, or has something gone terribly wrong. Hope they get put up, sounds like interesting stuff.

WmMBerger

The mp3 links are now fixed. Thanks for the tip-off.

Ray Brazen

Berger's blogging again! At last! All remains well with this world. And as always, enlightening to the core.

illlich

I think that, regardless of whether his music is dryly cerebral, or whether many people listened to his music much, his influence is grand; indeed, the fact that he is name-dropped so often should prove this. His ideas about music, despite how they might have ended up sounding, were clearly very influential. The quote about 9/11 might extremely glib, but I can sorta understand the logic-- no event in recent history has generated more thought, discussion, or emotion, for so many people (indeed, for the entire world, bar a few remaining stone-age tribes deep in the rain forests). The images of that day hit as hard (or harder) than those two iconic images of Vietnam (girl running from napalm, gun-to-head execution of saboteur), maybe only equaled by the various images of the Holocaust. I'm just not sure it's wise to call it "art" though.

Petrina

To be honest, I've never heard of this composer. I downloaded and am about half way through Prozession. Yeah, Sonic Youth owe him at the very least a tip of the hat (if they haven't already).

Had I read his comments on 9/11 immediately after the fact I would have found them inflammatory (much like most of America). But, much like the old comic adage that tragedy plus time equals comedy, I merely find his comments titillating. I'm no judge on what is art, but going back to illlich's comment about comparing images of the Vietnam War to the Holocaust, I do find it quite interesting that Stockhausen, a German, had made the comment in the first place. Comparing images of Vietnam to the Holocaust, as an American, is as glib as Stockhausen's comments on 9/11.

Mogambo

Thanks for this post! I've really only heard of Stockhausen through name-drops and one rather good documentary back inna day, so i look forward... the only music of his i've heard i remember as being like a cross between the aphex twin and can (especially impressive since it was a '40s or '50s piece) and rather cool and listenable.

His 9/11 comment was definitely an artsy ego-explosion moment, but i think most people outside the US have a bit more perspective on what is after all just one more terrorist event in amongst millions. Americans need to remember that the rest of the world not only exists but is vastly larger and more complex than their insular, xenophobic society and insensitive weirdoes like Stockhausen maybe help a little...?

illlich

Petrina: you can compare anything to anything else-- that doesn't necessarily mean they are "comparable"-- I was just trying to think of images of real-life horror; I could easily have chosen images of famines, plagues, or disasters, but mainly I was thinking about the evil inflicted by one man upon another, and those images were the "best" I could come up with. 5.1 million people died during the Vietnam War, including 4 million civilians in the north. I know it wasn't the cold efficient evil of the Nazis, but with those numbers in mind Johnson's comments about "bombing North Vietnam into the stone age" are indeed cold-blooded. Historians compare these kinds of events all the time-- Hitler, Stalin, the Khmer Rouge, the Armenian genocide, the mass slaughter of American Indians, and native Africans. . . . The human tragedy is that we will always find reasons to hate each other or feel superior to others, and our ingenuity means we will always find new ways to kill each other.

Krys O.

There is an excerpt of Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet at this YouTube link and at said YouTube there is another link to a site to download the entire avi file.

Nash Rose

William, this post helps out a lot with the questions I raised a few weeks ago! I'm not sure I quite grasp yet what 'deep listening' involves...I sincerely hope listening to Goldstaub needn't be as involved as performing it! Your effort is appreciated.

Jim Thompson

Circa 1980, I found what I recall as being some old Folkways LP at the local community college that included Stockhausen and "musique concrete", and loved it. The one track of Stockhausen's I recall had mechanical, everyday sounds excerpted (we say "sampled" these days) with a sort of a science fiction bent, though I recall a couple of sounds reminding me of something like bad bathroom plumbing noises. At no time did I ever think it was intended to represent anything particular as a work, nor did I find that a failing. Years later, when I endured the "Noise Camp" put on (and the phrase is deliberate) by a group of overrated and egomaniacal Michigan 'noise' artists, I saw a handpainted vinyl LP scraping away at a volume that crumbled the ceiling tiles of a Royal Oak gallery, but this purportedly irreverent gimmick just made me remember Stockhausen creating sporadic rhythms in the '50s with the scratches of vinyl records. Remember, too, that Jean Shepherd played Stockhausen on his radio show, and Shep apparently did not suffer ignorance or inability.

paul

hey! the Time Stereo folks are NOT overrated or egomaniacal!

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