Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Karlheinz Stockhausen (August 22, 1928 – December 5, 2007)

The electro-acoustic pioneer and influential avant-garde guru (he makes an appearance on the Sgt Pepper's cover) Karlheinz Stockhausen died today in Kürten, North Rhine-Westphalia, aged 79.

In tribute, here is a snippet from a performance of his work Helikopter-Streichquartett (helicopter string quartet).

Anybody who can even come up with the idea of a performance where each of the quartet are in their own helicopter flying over the concert hall, let alone putting it into action, immediately gets my respect. Though perhaps not if I've got my Greenpeace hat on.

Without Stockhausen, would there have been the likes of Kraftwerk, electro-rave, or Flake Lorenz? His work may be somewhat hard to 'get', but enough musicians 'got' it to help them push their own creative boundaries.

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