Karlheinz Stockhausen’s

Presented by Darmstadt Essential Repertoire
in partnership with the Goethe Institut

The Kitchen
November 7-8, 8:00 PM
Admission: $15

Fifty years after its storied New York premiere, the composer’s response to the Happening gets a 21st–century staging, directed by Caden Manson (Big Art Group), with a creative team featuring filmmaker A.L. Steiner and sound projectionist Joe Drew. The cast of “Originals”—the word is used to imply a simultaneous sense of authenticity and eccentricity—describes a community of contemporary performance makers, musicians, and artists, whose actions are organized by Stockhausen’s score and accompanied by noted electroacoustic compositions such as Kontakte. Curated by Nick Hallett for Darmstadt: Essential Repertoire. Co-produced by The Kitchen and Goethe-Institut.

DirectorCaden Manson / Jemma Nelson
PianoStephen Drury
PercussionStuart W Gerber
Sound ProjectionistJoe Drew
Action ComposerRachel Mason (11/7), Colin Self (11/8)
PoetEileen Myles
ArtistJoan Jonas
ModelJustin Vivian Bond
Performer INao Bustamante
Performer IIIshmael Houston-Jones
Performer IIINiv Acosta
Performer IVAlexandro Segade
Performer VLucy Sexton
Animal handlerNarcissister
Street SingerNick Hallett
ChildRaul de Nieves
Newspaper SellerSaori Tsukada
ConductorZach Layton
FilmmakerA.L. Steiner
Lighting DesignerBrittany Spencer

About ORIGINALE ORIGINALE (1961) is Karlheinz Stockhausen’s (1928–2007) first, major theatrical work. It centers on an ill-fated performance of his electroacoustic work Kontakte for piano, percussion, and tape. The pianist, percussionist, and sound projectionist are constantly interrupted by theatrical types, from the lighting engineer in the rigging to an insufferable director. The interruptions grow more outlandish, and the Kontakte performers eventually join in the fun.

Stockhausen’s score is not much more than a time chart with notations of what happened during the original 1961 performances in Cologne’s Theater am Dom. The content could vary wildly depending on who was performing, and Stockhausen welcomed latecomers to the production with little idea what they would do onstage. His goal was to showcase original people doing original things, which is why he settled on the title ORIGINALE (Originals).

The production of ORIGINALE came during a transitional phase in Stockhausen’s career. By the time he was 30, he had become a household name in contemporary music with his theories about composition, his pioneering electronic music, and with two undisputed masterpieces (Gesang der Jünglinge and Gruppen). By the end of the 1960s, he would become a minor icon of the counterculture, famous enough to grace the top row of the Sgt. Pepper’s collage and bankable enough that Polydor saw fit to release a Stockhausen’s Greatest Hits LP.

One of the hallmarks of Stockhausen’s trailblazing career was a stunning consistency of thought. The humor of ORIGINALE is similar to the impish absurdity of the Cologne Carnival, and it is this same spirit that pervades Stockhausen’s magnum opus, LICHT (1977-2003). He spent nearly 30 years composing the seven operas of LICHT, and he was fond of summarizing the massive project as “a dance of humor”. In many ways, ORIGINALE is the work that best holds the key to understanding Stockhausen’s later music. — Joe Drew
1961 Photos Photos from the 1961 Cologne production of Originale:

1961 Cast Theater am Dom, Cologne
October 26 – November 6, 1961
8:30 p.m. Daily

ComposerKarlheinz Stockhausen
DirectorCarlheinz Caspari
PianistDavid Tudor
PercussionistChristoph Caskel
ViolinKenji Kobayashi
ActionsNam June Paik
Street SingerLilienweiß & Belina
PoetHans G. Helms
PainterMary Bauermeister
CameramanWolfgang Ramsbott
LightingWalter Koch
Sound EngineerLeopold von Knobelsdorff
WardrobeLiselotte Lörsch
Newspaper VendorFrau Hoffman
ChildChristel & Markus Stockhausen
ActorsAlfred Feussner, Harry J. Bong, Ruth Grahlmann, Eva-Maria Kox, Heiner Reddemann, Peter Hackenberger
1964 Cast Judson Hall
165 West 57 Street, NYC
September 8–9, 11–13, 1964

PianistJames Tenney
PercussionistMax Neuhaus
Sound TechnicianDavid Behrman
Lighting ManNick Cernivich
CameramanRobert Breer
DirectorAllan Kaprow
Action MusicianNam June Paik
ChildMr. Seaman’s grand-child
ModelOlga Klüver
ConductorAlvin Lucier
Animal HandlerEva Pietkiewicz
Action paintersRobert Delford Brown and Ay-o
PoetsAllen Ginsberg and Jackson MacLow