Sunday, December 09, 2007

Klaus Schultze on Stockhausen

Several people have mentioned the death of Stockhausen, I think, because lot of people (including me) are/were under the impression that Stockhausen was a seminal figure in the history of electronic music. Klaus Schultze (one of the old members of the German 70's synth group Tangerine Dream. He eventually left the group and produced a number of solo albums) thinks different: he acknowledges that Stockhausen was certainly among the first to use an oscillator in a composition, but that this act was a minor experiment that Stockhausen abandoned almost immediately in a career dedicated to exploring NON-electronic music.

Below is an excerpt from an interview given by Klaus Schultze. The rest of the interview can be found

KS: Everytime a journalist cannot cope (pun intended) with a certain music, he mentions "Stockhausen" as a kind of synonym. Have you ever checked Stockhausen's output? About 5 (five) compositions that could be called "electronic", and they were done 30 to 40 years ago, made with an oscillator or something like this. He did over hundred of other compositions that have no relation whatsoever to electronic music. Besides, what I heard meanwhile, sounds awful to my ears and to most other people's ears and hearts. Stockhausen is maybe a good theorist. Who's listening voluntarily to his actual music, who "enjoys" it? I also had and I have nothing to do with Cage or Riley. Neither with their music nor with their theories and philosophies (if they have any...). I have nothing against it, but this is simply not my world. When I started to do my music, and before, I was listening to Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, before it was the Spotnicks and the Ventures, but not to the names you mention. Nobody in my surrounding and in my age did. This was a kind of "culture" that just did not exist among us. Only many years after, and because every second journalist asked me about "Stockhausen", I finally bought his theoretic books and I read them. Interesting stuff, I must admit, but the musical results are still not my cup of tea.

(From another interview, two years earlier:)

I'm really tired of hearing this name: "Stockhausen". Have you ever checked how many "electronic" compositions he did? For the last 20 years not one. This friendly religious man does not even own a mixing desk (Which is no crime, of course. But it shows some things), not to mention that he never searched seriously for synthetic sounds. What he did before, in the fifties and sixties, was not at all "electronic", in the sense we understand it since Robert Moog and Walter Carlos' profound works. I have nothing against Stockhausen and his theories, but his music was and is of no big interest to me, not to mention: influence. ...There is no "myth" behind Stockhausen. It's just that one inept writer copies from the other this magical word: "Stockhausen". An Italian friend recently told me: There are many journalists who don't know much about a certain music. If those writers try to give a name to a kind of music which is beyond their understanding, they call it "Stockhausen". There are many of these writers.

1 comment:

Blums said...

Did you do any research at all before posting that crap? Or did you just read that article and decided that it was acurate?

Stockhausen's last work with 5 synthesisers was in 2003 and was composeing with various electronic devices until 2007.

There are several photos on the net with stockhausen and a mixing board.