Some more from the NRK archives, this time two performances by Karlheinz Stockhausen's emsemble on 29 and 30 September 1969. These were at the Henie Onstad Art Centre at Høvikodden outside Oslo. The Centre was opened in 1968 and soon became the most prominent venue for new music, electronica and even jazz. Among jazz events in 1969, the premier performance of George Russell's Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature and a concert by the Cadentia Nova Danica, an ensemble led by saxophonist John Tchicai.
We get to hear two pieces (in separate files), first "Kurzwellen" (Shortwaves) where short wave receivers play a key role as a sound source for emulation and improvisation. This piece was recorded and released by Deutsche Grammophon in 1970. The record lists six musicians, but as far as I make out, there are only five present in this concert. These are:
Karlheinz Stockhausen - electronics, mixing, harmonica (on "Es")
Aloys Kontarsky - piano
Johannes G. Fritsch - viola
Harald Bojé - keyboards
Rolf Gehlhaar - percussion
The second piece, "Es" (It), an excerpt from "Aus den Sieben Tagen" (From the Seven Days), features the same ensemble, but this piece is based on what may be called non-cognitive spontaneity, reminiscent of Eastern ideas derived from meditation and buddhism. Only when the mind is devoid of thought is the time to play. Once one starts to think again, one should stop immediately. Hence there is a lot of space and silence in this music, only broken by sudden otbursts of sound. Both pieces may sound random to many ears and to some degree they are, but there is, I sense, a strong procedural and conceptual element to this music nonetheless. The second half of the video is a Q&A session with musicians, including some of his own, where he gets to expound on his concept of biological time, space, natural sound and on what he calls intuitive music.
Same as for the Cathy Berberian programme, which I posted before, it's all in glorious black and white!