still stockhausen

I’ve been listening across the electronic genres, mostly the popular stuff, to make sure I know what’s going on. As good as some of it is, and some is very good, none can touch Stockhausen’s electronic music. I couldn’t work out what was it about his work that makes me respond so deeply.

Well, I spend most of today feeling morose, and needed to hear something of depth. So I played Klavierstück XV Synthi-Fou, the Stockhausen Verlag discs. On CD 1, there’s a piece of synthesiser music that works so well for me, and I don’t know why. On CD 2, Stockhausen explains some of the secrets in his guidelines for performers.

Everything is fresh. It’s not just the notes that never repeat, every phrase has its own sound texture that’s very rarely reused. The uniqueness of the textures is subtle; well, I didn’t spot it. It’s not all the magic, but it’s important. And it marks one thing that stands out in his electronic music from almost everything else I’ve heard over the last few months.

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