26 March 2012

a different kind of programming

For example,
when Stalingrad happened

I sat at home as a child, listening to
our Minister of Propaganda, Goebbels,

who said, "Be proud
of these fallen young men,

for they died
for a great Germanic idea."

And then Beethoven's Fifth
started to play.

The composers after World War II
wanted to free the idea of music

from this kind of...
..magical usability.

They tried to redefine music
in an entirely new manner,

with the help of so-called
acoustic parameters.

This was met with considerable
resistance within society,

since music had had that role,
and still has today.

Music is some kind
of magical medium.

Music seems to be an area
where we abandon our thought processes

and give ourselves over to feelings.
And these composers, amongst them

Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen,
and my teacher, Luigi Nono,

these composers came up with a different
kind of programming, as it were.

For me, from this moment on, music
has always been charged with the task

of constantly re-evaluating the concept
of music and its role in society.

This was the start,
and it was an important challenge for me

to write music that
both evoked this magical medium

and at the same time broke through it,
or, in English, "suspended magic".

In German we say "broken magic".
There were always two aspects to it.

On the one hand,
a collectively encompassing one,

and at the same time the challenge
to charge our feelings with thoughts.

This means listening to music whilst
at the same time thinking about music.

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