SPIRITO DEL TEMPO | Teatri del Suono d’Oggi

It’s a new international festival designed for the city of Milan,

with an unprecedented focus on the intersection between

contemporary music, electronic music and instrumental music theater

With a view to the new synaesthetic directions undertaken by contemporary musical performance, the festival focuses its attention on the very rich creative crossroads that arises from the mixture of today’s music, new performance practices and new technologies, in an international and national level

The first edition of the SPIRITO DEL TEMPO | Teatri del suono d’oggi Festival – between June 12th and September 10th 2022 – is monographic and dedicated to Karlheinz Stockhausen, contemporary composer considered one of the greatest authors and all-round experimenters of the XX and XXI century, an authentic pioneer precisely in the direction proposed by the mission of the festival, a tireless innovator in the field of contemporary music, electronics and instrumental music theater, whose 15 years since his death occur in 2022. 

STOCKHAUSEN IN MILAN

The setting and trait d’union of the Festival is the city of Milan as a lively musical place and a driving creative center that between the XX and XXI century commissioned and baptized some of the most important works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, from his assiduous concert presence to the end of the Sixties, to the three works commissioned by the Teatro alla Scala (1977 – 1984 – 1988) which saw him work alongside leading Italian names such as Luca Ronconi and Gae Aulenti, up to the commissions of the “Pause” festival which led to two famous performances in the Milan Cathedral (2004 and 2006).

In Stockhausen, the typically post-modern mystical syncretism, the conception of time as a measure of life cycles and the idea of ​​a cosmic unity that is expressed in the vibrations of sound are flanked by a new pleasure of melody, a taste for transparency of writing that borders on diatonism, in a very personal light.

Stockhausen’s music is both mental and spiritual.

All his works are based on strong organizational principles, which shape each element taking into account a complex but always coherent global context.
Along with this rigor, however, Stockhausen is moved by an extremely personal and syncretic spiritual attitude: he firmly believes that music, understood as a profound “art” of sounds, enhanced by technological progress, can and must help humanity to progress.
And never as now, such a “free”, humanistic and apolitical conception of music, which has its reasons in a profound ethical meaning that transcends the news, can offer important food for thought.

According to Stockhausen, music is in fact an opportunity for society to exercise the spirit, by listening to something which, being abstract and impalpable, manages to raise the listener’s attention beyond matter and bring him into contact with a subtle, hidden world: it is a dimension of beauty and harmony, explored with all the help that technological progress can offer.

copyright: Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kürten (www.karlheinztockhausen.org)

For this reason, each of his compositions has a very original, immersive and spectacular performative dimension.

With his music Stockhausen wants to offer a journey into the creativity of contemporary musical art at 360 degrees: he cares about the usability of his works, and all, despite their extreme diversity, have their deepest reason in the desire to bring spectator in a listening dimension that produces beauty and harmony.

And it is certainly a contemporary, hybrid and multidimensional beauty that explores and mixes electronics and theater, free improvisation and sound spatialization.

The four events of the Festival were chosen in particular because they all carry a message of hope, ideally aimed at creating an aesthetic and sound harmony, which from music – through listening – can “pass” as if by contact, by magic or entanglement, in the minds of the audience:

TIERKREIS looks to the sky and its constellations, a lyrical and minimal zodiac music, with which Stockhausen gives a sound to the mystery of the cosmos through the reflections that man finds in the zodiac signs.

AVE is an instrumental theater piece, a fairytale encounter between two fictional characters, Eva and a pied piper, who, through mutual discovery, made up of fights, jokes, teasing and games, end up finding an unexpected union.

KATHINKAs GESANG is a postmodern Requiem, a Requiem for Lucifer, where Lucifer is not to be understood as the devil, but as a symbol of being eternally imperfect. The piece is a theatrical action conceived as a sort of gradus ad parnassum, a path of asceticism in 24 studies/ stadies to free the dead soul from earthly senses, immersed in a visual soundscape with mandalas, laughter of the witches and inexorable electronic gongs, which – as in a video game – mark each time the passing of a level, in order to get to the Light.

HARLEKIN proposes a Harlequin that is none other than Lucifer, in the guise of the mask of italian “commedia dell’arte”. The imperfect, desecrating being, the one who for anthropology is the “trickster”, the rogue, “the carefree irresponsible”, uncontrolled, smart and ambiguous, yet full of verve and vital energy, but also a musician and messenger of dreams, irreverent mirror of human contradictions.

FUR KOMMENDE ZEITEN has an emblematic title: “for the times to come”. It is a look and a reflection towards the future, made in the extemporaneousness of improvisation music, reinterpreted by Stockhausen as intuitive music / meditative music, which sinks its live success in a collective creative act fruit of intuition and empathy among all musicians.

STIMMUNG is a piece in search of good “intonation” (Stimmung in fact), to be understood not only at the musical level in the vocal group involved in the piece: the title refers to a tuning understood in a broad sense, as a chord, arrangement of harmonic soul that singers are called to reproduce in music.

Once again, Stockhausen’s music wants to be the bearer of beneficial influences, in the aspiration that from art these, by entanglement, can be reflected on life.

Laura Faoro

THE CALENDAR

The Festival will be divided into four events, appropriately chosen with the aim of offering a kaleidoscopic excursus on the most imaginative periods of Stockhausen’s creative activity: from a cappella ritual vocalism to the sounds of the stars, from instrumental theater to intuitive music.

•             June 12th 2022 – “TIERKREIS – Stockhausen for Kids” at NOCETUM

•             June 16th 2022 – “AVE – KATHINKAs GESANG – HARLEKIN” at Teatro Lirico “Giorgio Gaber”

•             June 18th 2022 – “FÜR KOMMENDE ZEITEN” at Sala Donatoni – Fabbrica del Vapore

•             September 10th 2022 – “STIMMUNG” at Basilica di San Carlo al Corso

Besides the concert events, the Festival will also include workshops / masterclasses and activities to raise awareness among the public and involve them in a conscious way, deep inside Stockhausen creative world.

copyright: Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kürten (www.karlheinztockhausen.org)

The choice of locations for each event aims to identify the most appropriate venue for each appointment in terms of lighting possibilities, environmental acoustics and scenographic characteristics.

This edition is in partnership with the Stockhausen Stiftung (Stockhausen Foundation, Germany), the highest guarantor of the quality level of the initiative at an international level, which is responsible for spreading the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen all over the world and promoting the performances of particular high level; for this reason, the programming of the 2022 edition of Spirito del Tempo focuses on Italian excellence accredited by the Foundation, both historical collaborators of the Maestro, and younger performers who in recent years have worked within the Stockhausen-Kursen, winning prizes in various editions .

The artistic direction of the festival is entrusted to Laura Faoro (www.laurafaoro.it) already winner of the Stockhausen Prize in 2019.


The 2022 edition of Spirito del Tempo | Teatri del suono d’oggi have got the following partnerships:

Stockhausen-Stiftung (Kürten, Germania)

Serate Musicali (Milan)

Associazione “Il cielo itinerante”

I Teatri – Festival Aperto (Reggio Emilia)

Conservatorio Pollini (Padua) – SAMPL

Teatro Lirico Giorgio Gaber (Milan)

Tempo Reale (Florence)

MMT Creative Labs (Milan)

Divertimento Ensemble (Milan)

Associazione “Innesti di cultura” (Alessandria)

Media partner: Radio Marconi (Milan).

Patronage requests were submitted to:

Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Milano

Assessorato alla Cultura della Regione Lombardia

Main sponsor:

AcomeA