HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET (1992/93)
for string quartet,
4 helicopters with pilots and 4 sound technicians
4 television transmitters, 4 x 3 sound transmitters
auditorium with 4 columns of televisions and
4 columns of loudspeakers
sound projectionist with mixing console
/ moderator (ad lib.)
The duration is circa 32 minutes.
Early in 1991 I received a commission from Professor Hans Landesmann, the person responsible for the concert planning of the Salzburger Festspiele, to compose a string quartet. The Arditti Quartet was to play the world première in 1994.
My first reaction was - as often before in such cases - that I would not write a string quartet, because I have never separated form, content and performance practice, and the string quartet is a typical genre of the 18th century.
Similarly, for 45 years, I have not written symphonies, sonatas, piano concertos, violin concertos etc. Each of my works has its own form, instrumentation, performance practice.
And then I had a dream: I heard and saw the four string players in four helicopters flying in the air and playing. At the same time I saw people on the ground seated in an audio-visual hall, others were standing outdoors on a large public plaza. In front of them, four towers of television screens and loudspeakers had been set up: at the left, half-left, half-right, right. At each of the four positions one of the four string players could be heard and seen in close-up.
Most of the time, the string players played tremoli which blended so well with the timbres and the rhythms of the rotor blades that the helicopters sounded like musical instruments.
When I woke up, I strongly felt that something had been communicated to me which I never would have thought of on my own. I did not tell anyone anything about it
Since I did not, after the dream, have any time to compose, I wrote and drew several sketches and - from the super formula - developed the HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET as the third scene of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT (LICHT), the cycle of music dramas which I have been composing since 1977.
Only in 1992/93 did I find the peace to compose the HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET, and especially to make the fair copy of the coloured score.
A performance is staged in the following way:
First, the four string players are introduced to the audience by a moderator - who may also be the sound projectionist. He briefly describes the technical aspects of the forthcoming performance. Then, the players walk to the helicopters - or are driven there - while being constantly followed by video cameras which transmit to the television monitors. The moderator (at the mixing console) explains over the loudspeakers what is happening.
From their embarkation into the helicopters until they disembark, each string player and his helicopter is transmitted via camera, television transmitter, three microphones and sound transmitters to his own group of monitors for the audience. Each string player should be constantly audible and always visible close-up – face, hands, bow, instrument – without any camera changes and without the fading in of other pictures.
Behind each player, the earth can be seen through the glass cockpit of the helicopter.
The ascent lasts about 5 minutes from the ignition of the turbines to bar e1™. Until the world première, the measured music of the score (starting at bar e1™) lasted 18! minutes. Due to a later addition, it now lasts circa 21! minutes. Descent and landing last about 5 minutes each.
The microphone transmission from each helicopter should be such that the sounds of the rotor blades and that of the instrument blend well, and the instrument is heard slightly louder. To achieve this, at least 3 microphones per helicopter are necessary: 1 contact microphone on the bridge of the instrument, 1 microphone in front of the mouth of the player, and 1 microphone outside the helicopter which clearly picks up the sounds and rhythms of the rotor blades. The 4 x 3 microphone signals can be transmitted by 12 individual transmitters – possibly via satellite relay – and received at the concert hall as well as at further localities, then balanced and mixed to 4 mono signals at a mixing console using 4 x 3 faders.
Tomado de www.stockhausen.org
Pues nada. Ahí lo dejo para quien le interese y tenga paciencia. De hecho hay mucha mas información que podría resultarles interesante.
Fuera de cualquier polémica acerca de la obra de Mr Karlheinz Stockhausen, sus declaraciones acerca del despedorre del WTC y demás, hay que saber ver (o escuchar) la devoción con la que este hombre se refería al sonido.
Descanse en ruido blanco, Karlheinz Stockhausen.