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Stockhausen’s KLANG

Analog Arts & Liz Huston

Apr 7-8

Runtime TBA

Cost TBA


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 Dolf Kamper. A break room with stimulating conversations, lectures, and a cash bar will be available.

This piece is composed of 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.

Attendees will be able to hear the work in its entirety on both days of the production over the course of fourteen hours through four unique but cohesive concert experiences.

KLANG Up Close (10am – 1pm): An intimate look at Stockhausen’s music in the FringeArts Studio where the audience can recline on the floor and get as close as they want to the musicians.

Modular KLANG (1pm – 4pm): The audience shapes their own version of KLANG during simultaneous performances in the FringeArts Theater and Studio.

KLANG Immersion (4pm – 7pm): The audience is invited onto the stage of the FringeArts Theater to hear the music in a unique way.

KLANG in Concert (7pm – 12am): An abridged version of the entire KLANG cycle played in sequence.

You can take a look at the full presentation schedule here!

Photo by Klaus Rudolph

Scholars will be present 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.

The full schedule of talks and speakers are:

Saturday, April 7
11:45am – KLANG and Christianity (Esther Morgan-Ellis)
12:15pm – URANTIA, NEBADON, and Beyond: Navigating the Afterlife Adventure of KLANG (Joe Drew)
1:45pm – Stockhausen’s Collaborators (Esther M Morgan-Ellis)
3:45pm – KLANG’s Trios (Thomas Patteson)
4:30pm – Interview with Marco Blaauw about working with Stockhausen (Thomas Patteson)
6:00pm – Stockhausen’s Serialism (Thomas Patteson)
7:00pm – Interview with Axel Porath and Peter Veale about working with Stockhausen (Paul Miller)
7:30pm – KLANG and Urantia (Paul Miller)
9:00pm – Q and A with Lilac 94 about preparing FREUDE
10:35pm – Eros and Agape (Paul Miller)

Sunday, April 8
11:45am – KLANG’s Trios (Thomas Patteson)
1:00pm – Interview with Marco Blaauw about working with Stockhausen (Thomas Patteson)
2:00pm – Stockhausen’s Serialism (Thomas Patteson)
3:45pm – KLANG and Urantia (Paul Miller)
5:25pm – Eros and Agape (Paul Miller)
6:15pm – URANTIA, NEBADON, and Beyond: Navigating the Afterlife Adventure of KLANG (Joe Drew)
7:00pm – Interview with Axel Porath and Peter Veale about working with Stockhausen (Paul Miller)
7:30pm – KLANG and Christianity (Esther M Morgan-Ellis)
9:00pm – Q and A with Lilac 94 about preparing FREUDE
10:30pm – Stockhausen’s Collaborators (Esther M Morgan-Ellis)

Photo by Klaus Rudolph

Ensemble Musikfabrik Peter Veale, Heidi Mockert, Marco Blaauw, Christine Chapman, Melvyn Poore, Axel Porath Additional Musicians Stuart Gerber, Christopher Oldfather, Joe Drew, Dolph Kamper, Taka Kigawa, Lilac 94, Emma Resmini, Evan Ocheret, Geoffrey Deemer, Aaron Stewart, Sharon Harms, Rachel Segal, Joe Dvorak, Jeffrey Gavett, Robert Osborne, Mallory Tittle, Eric Coyne, Veronica Jurkiewicz, Dominic Panunto, Sean Bailey, Audrey Miller, Kristina Mulholland, Steven Williamson, Margaret Lancaster Talks by Members of Musikfabrik, Thomas Patteson, Paul Miller, Joe Drew, Esther Morgan-Ellis Lighting by Thomas Dunn Sound Projection by Joe Drew, Dolf Kamper, Paul Jeukendrup Audience Experience orchestrated by Adrienne Mackey Print Design by Alda Leung & Jura Pintar

$40 One Day Pass | $28 members
$75 Two Day Pass | $52.50 members
$25 10am-1pm & 1pm-4pm & 4pm-7pm | $17.50 members
$30 7pm-12am | $21 members

Featured Photo by GLANZ aus dem Zyklus

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.

Nerd Out

Photo by Klaus Rudolph

Preview our interview with Elizabeth Huston.
Full interview is now available on the FringeArts Blog!

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.

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