Jacaranda, the series of intimate concert adventures into the realm of new and rarely heard classical music, presents “Hallucination,” featuring the music of avant-garde composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis, on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica. Culture Spot LA readers can win a pair of tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with “Jacaranda” in the subject line.
Jacaranda’s “Hallucination” concert of Stockhausen and Xenakis will be the centerpiece of a three-event tribute to artist Mary Bauermeister, Stockhausen’s muse and widow. Two concerts will feature landmark acoustic, electronic and amplified music at Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades and Jacaranda in Santa Monica. Goethe Institute/LA will host a closing event. Bauermeister will read from her new memoir, improvise with singer Nicholas Isherwood on her handmade instruments and discuss the creation of Stockhausen’s 1968 masterpiece “Stimmung.”
Stockhausen’s 70-minute masterpiece “Stimmung” (“Tuning/mood/atmosphere”), for six amplified voices, will be performed by VOXNOVA Italia, which is making its international debut with this concert. Founded 22 years ago in France as VOXNOVA, the widely acclaimed European vocal ensemble will be reincarnated with five Italian contemporary vocal music specialists under the direction of founder, bass baritone Isherwood. The American-born singer, a protégé of the late composer, recently moved from Berlin to Rome. VOXNOVA Italia, he says, has “cracked the code” of Stockhausen’s score by producing the harmonic balances asked for by the composer. Described as a trance-like stream of consciousness, “Stimmung” was inspired by walking among the ancient pyramids of Mexico, as well as by the spirit of free love permeating the period. The work’s steamy erotic poetry, usually performed in German, will be heard in English.
Opening this concert, which recalls the “summer of love” and impossible dreams of the late 1960s, cellist Timothy Loo will provide a point of departure with “Nomos Alpha” (1966) by Xenakis. The highly complex 15-minute work is considered impossible to perform as written. Loo will employ innovative new technology to completely render the work.
Tickets are $45 general admission and $20 for students. There is also a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit www.JacarandaMusic.org or call (213) 483-0216.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 8 p.m.: Mary Meets Karlheinz
Isherwood, who created the role of “Lucifer” in three of the operas making up Stockhausen’s massive cycle “Licht,” will perform “Capricorn” for singer and electronics, tailored to his voice by the composer. Isherwood will wear the original 1974 costume designed by Bauermeister. This performance will follow a rare performance of “Kontakte,” a seminal electronic work, in a new high-def digital restoration courtesy of Los Angeles-based composer Jennifer Logan and L.A.’s Occidental College. The 1960 premiere of the 30-minute work was also the occasion during which Stockhausen met visual artist and Fluxus catalyst Bauermeister, who will be present at this concert. Villa Aurora, 520 Paseo Miramar, Pacific Palisades 90272; shuttle starts at 7 p.m.; tickets are $25/$15 students.
Sunday, Jan. 26, 3 p.m., Mary Electrifies
This 80th-birthday tribute to Bauermeister, the second of Stockhausen’s four wives, will conclude with an afternoon event devoted to her life and work. Reading in English from her new memoir, published in her native German, Bauermeister will discuss the ideas, both musical and visual, that were exchanged by the couple. Samples of elaborately embellished letters and musical diagrams, as well as her impromptu “altar” to Stockhausen, will be on view. A nine-minute animated film, “Tribute to Mary Bauermeister,” in which she appears with such cultural icons as John Cage, Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik, will be screened. Goethe Institute, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, LA 90036; free admission, online RSVP requested.
For tickets and more information on all three programs, visit www.JacarandaMusic.org or call (213) 483-0216.