© Percussions de Strasbourg

MUSIC IN THE BELLY – K. H. Stockhausen / S. Steen-Andersen

Simon Steen-Andersen pays tribute to Karlheinz Stockhausen by staging his dream of music in the belly…

In 1975, Karlheinz Stockhausen composed an enigmatic work for the Percussions de Strasbourg. The score contained more stage directions and didascules than music – and the music consisted of twelve melodies linked to the signs of the zodiac, the Tierkreis cycle, and embodied in music boxes that the composer had made himself. The idea for the piece and its title came from his daughter Julika’s surprise when, at the age of two, she discovered small noises inside her, stomach rumbling: “You have music in your belly”, he had told her. A few years later he suddenly woke up one morning after dreaming the piece and put it down on paper.

Nearly fifty years after the composition and premiere of the work at the Royan Festival, the Percussions de Strasbourg asked Simon Steen-Andersen to imagine a new production. While remaining faithful to the score and without adding a single note, the Danish artist reveals its potential to the eyes and ears of today through the use of scenic processes and technologies directly inspired by other pieces by Stockhausen. A simple question guided his approach: what could Music in the belly have looked like in Stockhausen’s dream, before he even woke up?

As part of the Musica festival