Stockhausen Music, in a Lunar Setting

Monday, March 25, 2013


The work of one of the visionaries of 20th-century music is being presented in an unusual setting in New York City.

The Park Avenue Armory is playing Oktophonie, a piece by late German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, in a performance that has the audience wearing white cloaks, sitting in circular rows on the floor, while surrounded by loudspeakers and lights.

Oktophonie is performed by one of Stockhausen’s original collaborators, Kathinka Pasveer, who manipulates lap top computers and a sound board at the center of the space. Argentinean artist Rirkrit Tiravanija staged the work as the composer originally intended — in outer space.

The performances are getting mixed reaction by those who have attended it.

Robert Wood is a PhD student in music and he said he enjoyed the performance, especially because of its setting. “It helps to focus your attention a little bit,” he said. “It's like you put the cloak on and it's kind like this symbolic gesture saying, 'Ok, I'm going to enter into this world and fully give myself to it.'”

But Eva Jakubowski, who is a fan of experimental music, said even though she enjoyed the music she had a hard time with its 70 minute length. “I think it was a bit hard to sit still for that length of time, in this space,” she said. “I kept waiting for something more exciting to happen.”

The performances run until Wednesday, March 27 and tickets are $40.


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Comments [2]

Jp from Nyc

The NY Armory provided an opportunity for Stockhausen's sounds to resonate through the space with astonishing speed and 'twists'. As to the light effect, I found that this and other pieces like this have more amplitude for the mind if listened to with eyes closed, especially this performance. For me, the experience is a mindful exploration of feeling through sound.
Kudos to Ms Pasveer in 'navigating' this awesome space and fitting it to Stockhausen's movement.

Mar. 28 2013 05:18 PM
Jeff from Brooklyn

Though the space is fantastic, the show is not. I'm into unusual music and sound performances, but this came across more like something a teenager in the 80's might have written on his first synthesizer than the interpretation of the sounds of war by a well known German composer . The "light show" is also shockingly simplistic and repetitive - a real missed opportunity in this incredible space. At $40 per ticket, Oktophonie was extremely disappointing and dull.

Mar. 25 2013 09:19 AM

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