Posts Tagged ‘Alfonso alberti Intersezioni’

“And we began to look into the stars”: the spiritual element in Karheinz Stockhausen‘s music, by Alfonso Alberti

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The intersections between music and spirituality are many and most varied. Undoubtedly, in a more general sense, some form of spirituality could and should be part of every musical listening experience. As for Stockhausen’s music, anyway, the spiritual element is far from being unspecific, and there are strategies implemented in such a way that the listener is able to live a very peculiar experience.
The watcher should feel separated from what temporarily he deserted by getting into the concert hall; s/he should feel fully immersed in the sound environment; the experience shouldn’t be mediated by the rationality filter; the time should be suspended in a kind of trance where thinking surrenders to vision; and this vision should touch just what was never before experienced – these seem to be Stockhausen’s intentions when he conceives some of his most important compositions.
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Music & film II: Clockwork Orange, by Alfonso Alberti

Probably Clockwork Orange wouldn’t be Clockwork Orange, if the unlikely frenzied intercourse between Alex and the two girls of the record store was not associated with the Wilhelm Tell’s ouverture, suitably defiled by Wendy Carlos’ (1939-) electronic oddities. Or if the slow backtracking that opens the movie would not happen with the background of Purcell’s funeral plaint, equally modified by the eccentric American composer (at the time still credited as Walter Carlos). Tool for revisiting the music of the past was that Moog synthesizer, recently invented, that for the first time made available an extended pool of sounds, among whose to choose as from a painter’s palette: Wendy Carlos picked out the sounds that rendered the alienating (and sometimes crazy) desired effect, halfway between a mouse squeak and a fair organ grinder.

In Clockwork Orange more than anywhere else Stanley Kubrick’s direction ideal is realized, for whom «the best thing, in a movie, is when pictures and music create the effect», and who dreamed of a movie without words where «these peculiar aspects of the film art were the only communication means». If you want to convince yourself on the crucial role of the soundtrack for this movie, you should only carefully think in how many cases it suffices in giving the meaning of the situations, as in the case of Elgar’s march that ironically beats the opaque ritual of the minister’s visit. Or how it seems perfectly conceived for influencing, in a biased way, the whole interpretation of the story…
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