Stockhausen's KLANG
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Stockhausen’s KLANG

Analog Arts & Liz Huston


140 N. Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA
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Karlheinz Stockhausen’s final epic, KLANG: The 24 Hours of the Day, will be presented in full by Analog Arts and Elizabeth Huston. Intended to include 24 pieces but left incomplete at the time of Stockhausen’s death, this 21-part work gives space to meditate on time, spirituality, and reality, allowing the audience to reflect on the meaning of mortality. KLANG is the final, epic statement of one of the 20th century’s most important composers. It charts the journey of the soul from the body into the afterlife, and is a fitting capstone to Stockhausen’s massive career. The music ranges from intimate chamber pieces to virtuosic displays and electronic extravaganzas. This production features performances by Cologne’s MusikFabrik, light paintings by Thomas Dunn, and sound projection by Dolph Kamper.

This piece takes place in three sections. Section one deals with the spiritual world and features performances reflecting the ascension of Christ, harps in heaven expressing the joy of Pentecost, and the door to heaven opening into the pieces of section two, which contains the music that is heard in heaven. The seven pieces of the second section, all instrumental trios, are based on the same underlying music, rearranged and re-imagined to create seven beautifully different yet increasingly familiar-sounding works. The final section takes an immediate and surprising turn towards the imagined universe of Urantia. This section begins with the only fully electronic piece, Cosmic Pulses, and then dives into pieces based on the Urantia book, a mysterious text which appeared in the early 20th century with no known author. This book describes unknown universes, each planet of which is represented by an electro-acoustic performance in the second section.

KLANG in its entirety has a 14-hour time span. It is recommended that audience members stay for the full day to experience the piece. Scholars will be present in the adjoining La Peg bar to answer questions and foster conversation, musicians and researchers will give lectures, and visitors will be invited to visit stations for further reading and listening. Lunch and dinner will be available on-site. If full-day attendance is impossible, this performance has four curated collections of pieces featuring parts of each of the three sections. In this way, a sampling of the full work can be experienced in a handful of hours.

Major support for KLANG has been provided to Elizabeth Huston by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional funding from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Goethe Institute, and the Penn Treaty Special Services District.


Karlheinz Stockhausen / GLANZ aus dem Zyklus KLANG / 5.8.2010 / WDR / Koeln / Heidi Mockert, Fagott / Axel Porath, Viola / Richard Haynes, Klarinette / Melvyn Poore, Tuba

Musikfabrik Members Stuart Gerber, Christopher Oldfather, Joe Drew, Dolph Kamper, Taka Kigawa, Lilac 94, Emma Resmini, Evan Ocheret, Geoff Deemer, Aaron Stewart, Sharon Harms, Rachel Segal, Joe Dvorak, Jeff Gavett, Robert Osborne, Mirjam Ingolfsson, Mallory Tittle, Eric Coyne, Veronica, Dominic Panunto, Sean Bailey, Audrey Miller Talks by Members of Musikfabrik, Thomas Patteson, Paul Miller, Joe Drew, Esther Morgan-Ellis Lighting by Thomas Dunn Sound Projection by Joe Drew, Dolph Kamper, Paul Jeukendrup Audience Experience orchestrated by Adrienne Mackey Print Design by Alda Leung & Jura Pintar

$40 One Day Pass
$75 Two Day Pass

Featured Photo by GLANZ aus dem Zyklus

Nerd Out

Proben zu Karlheinz Stockhausens NEBADON aus dem Zyklus KLANG / 4.27.2010 / Stockhausen Stiftung fuer Musik / Kuerten / Christine Chapman, Horn

Preview our interview with Elizabeth Huston.
Full interview to be posted to the FringeArts Blog soon!

FringeArts: How did the idea of performing KLANG, with these collaborators come about? Was there a particular impetus?

Elizabeth Huston: In 2014 I had the idea of planning a performance of all of Luciano Berio’s Sequenzas for the 2014 Fringe Festival. The Sequenzas are 14 different pieces written by Berio over the course of his career (1958 to 2002). I noticed while researching the pieces how Berio’s “voice” changed and evolved while Berio grew as a composer, even though each piece of the series keeps his distinct voice and perspective. I decided to search for more sets of pieces like that, and found quite a few, which resulted in me starting my Composit series. The second performance was all of Davidovsky’s Synchronisms, and this will be the third. Stockhausen’s KLANG is a little different. Instead of being pieces written over the course of Stockhausen’s life, they are the last pieces he wrote (2004-2007). He died hours after completing the twenty-first Hour of KLANG, making this is final opus, the culmination of his life’s work. Since this piece was intended to be composed of 24 Hours, it is especially poignant as a reminder that we all die with unfinished business.

These pieces are notoriously challenging and dense, so I knew I needed collaborators on many fronts. Joe Drew worked with Stockhausen personally and knows his work intimately, so I am running my ideas by him to ensure an authentic communication of Stockhausen’s vision. MusikFabrik also knew Stockhausen personally, and they will be coaching our other performers, ensuring the highest quality performances possible. Stockhausen assigned each of the twenty-one parts of KLANG a specific color which is important to communicate. Thomas Dunn was a perfect fit for lighting design as he is known as a painter of light and can use colors incredibly effectively in his lighting. Finally, these pieces are very theatrical and musicians are not always the best actors. We roped in Adrienne Mackey to push our performers to embrace the duality of these pieces and bring them to life.

FringeArts: What have you worked on most in fine-tuning KLANG?

Elizabeth Huston: The most work is certainly coming from the performers themselves. These pieces are monstrously difficult and virtuosic. We have been rehearsing since August, and they will need all the time they can get. The most difficult thing about performing KLANG is that there isn’t much room for error, these pieces are very particular and need to be performed at the highest level to communicate effectively. Luckily Philadelphia has some of the finest performers in the nation and we can certainly do KLANG justice.