Forme-moment, rituel et oralité dans Stimmung (1968) de Karlheinz Stockhausen

Saturday, Feb 25, 2023

13:15 p.m. - 17:30 p.m.

At the turn of the 1960s, Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) conceptualized the moment-form, a “polysemic” form that encouraged performers and audiences to adopt “productive” roles to create collective works together. Stockhausen’s writings on the moment-form testify to his interest in a new form of orality, whose compositional thought is sensitive to the totality of the performance – that is to say, the practice of the performers and that of the audience – taken into account as musical poietics, in the same way as the writing of the score.

The aim of this paper is to show how Stockhausen’s theoretical thought reveals that a spiritual dimension guided the development of moment-form, notably in works such as Stimmung (1968), for six singers and six microphones. The notions of “second orality” and “ritual”, taken from theorist Paul Zumthor, will serve to explain the new collective and performative “oral tradition” that the composer seeks to establish through moment-form and the use of new technologies. The theory proposed by Stockhausen explains a desire to create a ritual work allowing its participants to share musical savoir-faire and even spiritual savoir-faire, two essential aspects of the composer’s thought.

Vicky Tremblay

Vicky Tremblay is a doctorate student in Musicology at l’Université de Montréal, under the supervision of Jonathan Goldman. After studying both literature and music, her work focuses on notions of orality, writing and of performance in the 20th century music. Her doctoral researches are devoted to the ritualization in vocal musical works premiered in Quebec between 1970 and 2000. She benefits from a grant offered by the Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines (CRSH) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (FRQSC).