Performed by Iktus Percussion at the Naumberg Bandshell, Central Park, Manhattan.
Co-presented by Goethe-Institut and New York Virtuoso Singers as part of Make Music New York.
Karlheinz Stockhausen's 1975 music-theatre work Musik Im Bauch (“Music in the Belly”) for six percussionists places its audience in an outré fairly-tale dream world. The piece was inspired by a game Stockhausen played with his two-year-old daughter, Julika, in which the composer listened to the sounds in her noisy stomach. Seven years later, Stockhausen conceived Musik Im Bauch during a dream. A loose narrative defines the transformation into humanity of three automatons, who attack a giant bird-man, named Miron, savagely cutting open his stomach and pulling out 3 music boxes which play melodies based on the signs of the Zodiac. All the music throughout the piece is taken from the melodies of the music boxes—a separate work often performed outright, Tierkreis—played in different speeds and fragmentations. Stockhausen challenges the listener’s ability to hear these stretched out melodies stating "if you want to hear it, you need the ears of a giant, and the memory of a giant, otherwise you will not be able to tell if a wrong note is played, or at the wrong time, they are spread so far apart. Future generations will really have to expand their perception in order to be aware of a melody which unfolds over such a long time.” Preceding the Stockhausen, New York Virtuoso Singers under the direction of Harold Rosenbaum perform new choral compositions by Danish composers. Special thanks to the Goethe-Institut for their support of this concert.
Performers: Chris Graham, Josh Perry, Steve Sehman, Chris Howard, Piero Guimaraes, Dennis Sullivan and Derek Kwan (electronics)
Based in New York City, Iktus Percussion is an ambitious, dynamic young ensemble committed to expanding the boundaries of the percussion genre. Iktus is a collective-based operation, featuring an array of industrious and multi-talented percussionists with Chris Graham, Justin Wolf, Steve Sehman, Nick Woodbury, and Cory Bracken at the core. Iktus has commissioned over fifty new works for percussion from such composers as Angélica Negrón, Aaron Siegel, Lisa R. Coons, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Stefan Weisman, and Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin and Wood). Iktus has performed at such venues and festivals as the Bang on A Can Marathon, Galapagos Arts Space, Le Poisson Rouge, Issue Project Room, Symphony Space, and Trinity Church. Iktus has been appointed to several residencies including SUNY Purchase College (where they performed Laura Kaminsky’s percussion concerto, Terra Terribilis), CUNY Brooklyn College, and the Pre-College music program at Stony Brook University.