Questions by David Paul for Stockhausen, May 9th 1997
(for an article which was published in SECONDS, September 1997)

Webmaster's note: Mr. Paul has been approached to publish the full
SECONDS Stockhausen interview. He is in the process of obtaining
the necessary permissions. STAY TUNED!


Paul: Since the time spectrum is made up of vibration, does the physical impact of sound vibration play a role in your music?

Stockhausen: The physical impact of a composition is the result of all its vibrations together. When I hear music innerly, I imagine its physical impact. During rehearsals I try to realize this imagination and balance it.

Paul: Could you elaborate on how music is a conscious organism? Do you mean it has organic qualities, or do you believe a composition is a conscious organism?

Stockhausen: A musical composition which is integrally developed out of a nucleus (examples Bach: Art of the Fugue, Stockhausen: LICHT), has properties like a biological organism: the score is the "dormant" genetic code, a performance is the organism awakened to life.

The more universally valid the laws of a score, the more "aware" is the organism which evolves out of it.

Paul: You influenced Miles Davis' music in the early Seventies. Were you interested in his music, or that of other cross-over musicians, like Frank Zappa?

Stockhausen: Miles Davis was an excellent performer, his music too limited in stylish ideas. Zappa was a lost composer: he wanted to please all sides - which never works.

Paul: What are your thoughts on recent developments in popular music and art music?

Stockhausen: Recent developments in Popular Music show that technical devices are becoming a means in themselves and that melodic, harmonic, rhythmic invention is decreasing.

Art Music has become as a whole very reactionary. Most composers and interpreters are against musical exploration of electronic technology.

Invention of form and content has never been so poor.

As almost all well known composers are agnostic, the link between Art Music and the Divine cosmic composition is now almost non-existent: A good time for hope!