As a commissioned piece by the ZKM | Center for Art and Media, the piece was performed for the first time in 2009 by László Hudacsek (vibraphone) and Kathinka Pasveer (sound direction) The collaboration between the ZKM and Karlheinz Stockhausen began back in 2003. Initially, Stockhausen’s ideas were thoroughly analysed in order to develop technical procedures to produce the composition.
From the music score and extensive fax correspondence, it became clear that Stockhausen had precise sound concepts for all details. In order to satisfy these ideas, the entire sound spectrum of a vibraphone, among other things, had to be sampled at various volumes with a certain number of drumsticks. This created a sample library of 2000 vibraphone sounds.
The documentary film provides an interesting insight into the incredible complexity of the production process. Special techniques had to be used to record Stockhausen’s ten-channel composition with its spatial information on a DVD. A number of spatial sound formats were experimented with: The acoustic properties of the performance space are incorporated into a binaural recording with artificial head; by using an HRTF (Head-Related Transfer Function) version, the impression of a “surround environment” is produced within an ideal space when listening with headphones; a third version, on which the ten voices are mixed together into five channels, provides a differentiated listening experience with a 5.1 sound system.
In addition, the DVD contains an exclusive interview, which Ludger Brümmer, head of the IMA, held with Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Production: ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics (IMA)
Electronic versions using 10 channel sound recording
Documentary film STRAHLEN
Ludger Brümmer interviews Karlheinz Stockhausen
In the edition ZKM electronic, the ZKM | Institut für Musik und Akustik (IMA) currently releases productions on the label WERGO which are based on electronic media and which, in the broadest sense, can be described as electro-acoustic compositions. Guest artists from all over the world are invited to work in the music studios to realize specific projects. The productions, ranging from digital synthesis and algorithmic composition to the integration of live electronics, from radio art to sound installation, encompass a broad spectrum of that locus where digital technology stimulates musical fantasy. More information on the ZKM you can find here.
The productions highlight current works of contemporary composers and musicians which are characterized by technological and aesthetic developments, while sometimes crossing the lines of the auditory by means of visualizations or multimedia concepts. Even in the field of audio productions, new territory is entered with 5.1 panoramas, for example, in order to depict the often three-dimensional compositions in an adequate manner. The aim is to spread the electro-acoustic music and sustain its release.
Starting in 2011, the label ZKM milestones releases selected works of contemporary music which, with regard to aesthetics, play a special role in recent music history and the academic examination and publication of which contribute to a better understanding of the cultural landscape.