© Christophe Urbain
“Music in the Belly” for six percussionists and twelve music boxes is one of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s most unusual endeavors. At MaerzMusik, Simon Steen-Andersen and Les Percussions de Strasbourg reinterpret it in an expanded version including scenographic concepts and technical elements.
“Music in the Belly” is perhaps one of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s most unusual endeavors. The title preceded the work itself: when his daughter’s stomach rumbled, the composer told her that she had music in her belly. The toddler began to laugh, repeating the phrase over and over. Seven years passed before, in the spring of 1974, Stockhausen awoke from a dream and wrote the first sketch. Upon a commission by Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the composition for six percussionists and twelve specially constructed music boxes premiered at the Festival de Royan in 1975. The score contains more stage directions than notes and the music consists of only twelve different melodies, each corresponding to the signs of the zodiac, forming the separate piece “Tierkreis”, one of Stockhausen’s best-known compositions. The much more elaborate “Music in the Belly”, complete with theatrical elements, has recently been reinterpreted and revived by Simon Steen-Andersen for Les Percussions de Strasbourg to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its conception. Orientating himself on the original score, the Danish composer has not changed a note, but adds scenographic concepts and technological methods inspired by other works by Stockhausen. His goal: to imagine Stockhausen’s dream that sparked the original creation and bring it to life on stage.
Musik im Bauch
for six performers
Les Percussions de Strasbourg
Léa Koster – percussion
Youjin Lee – percussion
Olivia Martin – percussion
Vanessa Porter – percussion
Lou Renaud Bailly – percussion
Hsin-Hsuan Wu – percussion
Claude Mathia, Raffaele Renne – technical team
Albane Aubin – stage building
Les Percussions de Strasbourg – executive production and commission
Festival Musica, La Muse en circuit – co-production
A production carried out within the framework of the “Mondes Nouveaux” programme of support for artistic creation.
Karlheinz Stockhausen's work was commissioned by Les Percussions de Strasbourg and premiered by them at the Festival de Royan in 1975. Edition: Stockhausen Verlag