Note to self: Toop’s Kürten lectures

Last month I read Richard Toop’s Six lectures from the Stockhausen Courses Kürten 2002. It really should be required reading for aspiring composers.

I’ve already written a post on the first chapter on ‘group composition’. A simple concept really, and perhaps a little dated if viewed in a narrow way. But I think the implications for thinking identity and difference in a work remain undiminished.

This post is, as the title suggests, really just a reminder to myself to go back to the book when I get a chance.

The chapter on STIMMUNG wonderfully demonstrates how Stockhausen builds an instrument specific for each piece and then explores this new terrain through exceedingly logical means. The logic, however, is simply a method for pushing into the furthest reaches of the space present in potentia in the new instrument.

The chapter on MANTRA demonstrates the inventiveness – again through a unity of logic and imagination – with which Stockhausen builds a structure from a simple ‘formula’. This certainly has some implications for my approach to counterpoint.

The chapter on ELEKTRONISHE MUSIK mit TONSZENEN shows Stockhausen’s compositional thinking in layers, often at massively different time spans. Again, important for my contrapuntal conception…

Anyway. I suppose that’s also a plug to go read the book if you are reading this post…