Monday, December 10, 2007

Electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen dead

Electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen dead (August 22, 1928 – December 5, 2007)
The German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen known for his ground-breaking work in electronic music and aleatory (controlled chance) in serial composition is no longer. He was 79 and died in the German city of Kürten, in Nordrhein-Westfalen so the Stockhausen Foundation led by his ex-wife Mary Bauermeister announced on Friday. No cause of death was diclosed.

Having composed 362 individually performable works, Stockhausen was one of the most important artist in the avant-garde movement after World War II. After a short career in non electronic music in March 1953 he moved to the NWDR studio in Cologne to work on electronic music. The first result of that were two "Electronic Studies", respectively recorded in 1953 and 1954.

Stockhausen also caused lots of commotion with un unorthodox way of woring and thinking. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, Stockhausen declared that the attacks were "Lucifer's greatest work of art". However, most of the press only printed the words "works of art".

Stockhausen was a source of inspiration for many electronic musicians like Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre and so on. A commemorative concert will take place soon at the Sülztalhalle in Kürten. Programme, time and date will be announced. A memorial booklet can be downloaded here.

Stockhausen's last controversial work was the Helicopter String Quartet, where four members of a string quartet performed in four helicopters flying independent flight-paths over the countryside near the concert hall. The sounds they played were mixed together with the sounds of the helicopters and played through speakers to the audience in the hall.

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