Musik im Bauch

Les Percussions de Strasbourg / Karlheinz Stockhausen / Simon Steen-Andersen

© Christophe Urbain

“Musik im Bauch” for six percussionists and twelve music boxes is one of Karlheinz Stockhausens 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.

“Musik im Bauch” is perhaps one of Karlheinz Stockhausens most unusual endeavors. The title preceded the work itself: when his daughters 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 Stockhausens best-known compositions. The much more elaborate “Musik im Bauch”, 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 Stockhausens dream that sparked the original creation and bring it to life on stage.


Musik im Bauch
for six performers

Karlheinz Stockhausen (1975) – composition
Simon Steen-Andersen (2022) – concept, staging, electronics


Les Percussions de Strasbourg
Léa Koster
Youjin Leepercussion
Olivia Martinpercussion
Vanessa Porterpercussion
Lou Renaud Bailly percussion
Hsin-Hsuan Wupercussion

Claude Mathia, Raffaele Renne – technical team
Albane Aubinstage building
Les Percussions de Strasbourgexecutive production and commission
Festival Musica, La Muse en circuitco-production