I was very sad to hear this evening of the passing of the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. I’ve found he is someone who more people have heard of then have listened to his works. Often, at best, they know of the connection from Holger Czukay and Irmin Schmidt of Can. A few years ago I became very serious about music and sound theory and read just about everything that Stockhausen had written that was available in english.

Krebstar: Barry Morse
So… by way of tribute… Under the influence of Stockhausen I created, through a destructive process (no intermediate copies saved, no notes taken) a suite of structuralist/serialist/what have you, pieces, grouped together on a CD named after the beloved character actor Barry Morse (The Fugitive, Space: 1999). Various formulas were applied. A favorite, at the time, was one simply titled FM that set two wacky bits of modulated FM synthesis against each other. The piece was designed so that one or the other passage would be much louder than the other, depending on the playback system’s range response. On some, the bit that is a bit quieter on most stereos, is quite shuddering. Listen to FM

I lost track with Stockhausen somewhere after his helicopter work a few years ago. I like to think he’s somewhere up there with them… spinning.