The fact that dance and movement are so strongly interdependent, that visual and acoustic would probably not exist without each other almost give the impression of a synaesthetic event. Is this impression misleading?
I cannot answer for Stockhausen, but I can give you my personal opinion. In a way, you can say that the gestures in Inori have been composed in the same way as music is composed, or better: they have been composed as music. You cannot see the gestures and the music apart from each other, they belong together, they are a unity. As a matter of fact, one of the most interesting aspects of Stockhausen’s work for me is that he often expands the musical vocabulary with non-musical material and uses this material in a musical way. Except for music and sound, you can find back visual aspects, light, colour, space and spatiality, and even scent („Düfte-Zeichen“) in his oeuvre. He succeeds in transferring these elements into something unique and meaningful, rather than restrict it to the parallel use of different disciplines.
„I only started to guess the complexity of what he was doing.“
You have often worked with Stockhausen yourself. Do these experiences have some sort of impact on you and your work?
Shortly after working with Stockhausen on the world premiere of the Helikopter-Streichquartett, I was involved in a production of Inori in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Peter Eötvös was conducting the Radio Chamber Orchestra, Alain Louafi and Kathinka Pasveer were the soloists, and Stockhausen himself was at the mixing console. It was an incredible experience for me to see the maestro work with the musicians and the score. I only started to guess the complexity of what he was doing. There are 60 degrees of dynamic levels in Inori and to find the exact levels of playing them, he worked directly with the musicians, instead of correcting dynamic issues at the console by simply moving a fader. He spent hours and hours of rehearsal time. That was an eye opener for me. Instead of trying to repair something that is wrong with the use of technology, he made sure that the source was correct before touching his mixing console. I am still trying to apply this principle myself up until today. I certainly gained a lot of experience and inspiration from working with him, but I can only hope that I can come close to Stockhausen’s wishes.
13.9.-18.9. Berlin – Haus der Berliner Festspiele
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