Hans Günter Helms (8 June 1932 – 11 March 2012) was a German experimental writer, composer, and social and economic analyst and critic.
Helms was born in Teterow into a Jewish family, who were able to escape the Holocaust by using falsified papers.[ citation needed ] He spent his childhood and youth in Teterow and Berlin. He received his first musical education whilst young, learning the piano and theory from an immigrant from Byelorussia. During the Nazi era he became acquainted with Swing and jazz from secretly listening to "enemy transmitters".
In the years immediately after the Second World War, Helms studied tenor saxophone with a member of the US army and appeared from 1950 until 1952 in Sweden as a jazz musician. He played with, amongst others, Charlie Parker and Gene Krupa, and also in 1953 in Vienna with Hans Koller. As well as being preoccupied with new music (Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Alban Berg and the Second Viennese School) Helms, working at the Viennese radio station Rot-Weiß-Rot (RWR), created with, amongst others, Ingeborg Bachmann, the radio genre Jazz & Lyrik.
In Göttingen, where he lived from 1953 onwards, Helms first made the acquaintance of the philosopher and sociologist Helmuth Plessner, then later with Theodor W. Adorno. His social and cultural critiques were significantly influenced by the Frankfurt school and critical theory. He also studied comparative linguistics with Roman Jakobson and philosophy and social theory with Max Horkheimer and Siegfried Kracauer; however, Helms describes the Marxist economist Jürgen Kuczynski as his most important teacher.
In 1955, the self-taught Helms began to compose. From 1957 onwards he made his base in Cologne, where he worked together with the composer Gottfried Michael Koenig at the buildings of the Studios für Elektronische Musik at Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). He directed phonetic experiments together with the physicist and communications researcher Werner Meyer Eppler, who also advised Herbert Eimert and Karlheinz Stockhausen at the same time. This work consisted of speech and sound analyses as well as linguistic and cybernetic studies.
Helms made contacts with Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez and John Cage through the Donaueschinger Musiktage and the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (where Helms visited and sometimes lectured from 1957–1970); he was especially drawn to Cage's music using radio broadcasts and writings. In Helms' abode a circle was formed, which included, as well as Koenig, also Mauricio Kagel and the musicicologist Heinz-Klaus Metzger; a central preoccupation was James Joyce's Finnegans Wake . From this influence, Helms developed two 'language-music compositions' (Sprach-Musik-Kompositionen), Fa:m Ahniesgwow and daidalos; later, in collaboration with Hans Otte, came GOLEM and KONSTRUKTIONEN. His Text for Bruno Maderna (1959), a work consisting entirely of phonemes, was used by Maderna in his stagework Hyperion (1964). Helms would apply principles to language which derived from musical techniques of serialism, organising phonemes and morphemes to create new linguistic constructions in such a manner. This work paralleled that of other contemporaries of the time, in particular Dieter Schnebel.
During the 1960s, when Helms became a private pupil of Adorno, he studied the Critical theory (Frankfurt School) and its roots in Marxism. Thereby he discovered Max Stirner, whose work Der Einzige und sein Eigentum ( The Ego and Its Own ) had provoked a violent critique from Marx, which led in consequence to his basic concept of Historical Materialism. Helms worked for many years upon this work of Stirner and its reception, producing his literary opus magnum, the 600-page Die Ideologie der anonymen Gesellschaft in 1966.
Helms saw himself, with his critique of Stirner, in the tradition from both Marx and some contemporary Marxists, who had already recognised 'the suppurative focus' and Stirner's 'current danger'.In his work, Helms presented the view that Stirner created 'the first consistent formulation ... of the ideology of the middle class' and further that Hitler articulated a specifically middle-class ideology and that Stirner-ism and National Socialism are both variations upon the same fascist demons. 'Because this demon lives on in West Germany, controlled by the middle classes, he has written this book to fight it'.
Afterwards he stopped composing in order to concentrate on producing music broadcasts and films (including works on Ives, Boulez and Stockhausen), believing radio and television as the more effective media for presenting social critique. He concluded his studies in sociology with a doctorate at the University of Bremen in 1974; as well as travelling to European and North African countries, he held a Guest Professorship between 1976 and 1978 at the University of Illinois. In 1978, he moved to the United States, and from 1982 lived in New York City.
Here Helms investigated the effects of the computer and telecommunications development on the field of employment, engaging in critiques of capitalism and globalization, as well as the social consequences of modern town planning. He predominantly made use of field research and interviews. He published his findings in political and scientific, music and literary magazines, trade union journals, and daily papers; and compiled radio and television productions for several ARD broadcasting corporations.
In 1988, Helms returned to Germany, first living in Cologne; in 2003 he moved to Berlin. He adds to his studies work on the history of the Jews in Eastern Europe, as well as, separately, looking critically at the conditions of work of contemporary composers who use electronics and computers.
Gesang der Jünglinge is a noted electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was realized in 1955–56 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk studio in Cologne and is Work Number 8 in the composer's catalog of works. The vocal parts were supplied by 12-year-old Josef Protschka. It is exactly 13 minutes, 14 seconds long.
Max Adler was an Austrian jurist, politician and social philosopher; his theories were of central importance to Austromarxism. He was a brother of Oskar Adler.
Gottfried Boehm is a German art historian and philosopher.
Franco Evangelisti was an Italian composer specifically interested in the scientific theories behind sound.
Gruppen for three orchestras (1955–57) is amongst the best-known compositions of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is Work Number 6 in the composer's catalog of works. Gruppen is "a landmark in 20th-century music. .. probably the first work of the post-war generation of composers in which technique and imagination combine on the highest level to produce an undisputable masterpiece".
Herbert Eimert was a German music theorist, musicologist, journalist, music critic, editor, radio producer, and composer.
Die Reihe was a German-language music journal, edited by Herbert Eimert and Karlheinz Stockhausen and published by Universal Edition (Vienna) between 1955 and 1962. An English edition was published, under the original German title, between 1957 and 1968 by the Theodore Presser Company, in association with Universal Edition (London). A related book series titled Bücher der Reihe was begun, but only one title ever appeared in it, Herbert Eimert's Grundlagen der musikalischen Reihentechnik.
Collegium Vocale Köln is a German vocal ensemble, founded in 1966 as a quintet when its members were still students at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne. It is directed by Wolfgang Fromme, who also sings tenor in the ensemble. They are best known as the group for which Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Stimmung in 1968, a work which they had performed more than three hundred of times throughout the world by 1986. The original impetus for the ensemble's founding, however, was an appearance by Alfred Deller at the Cologne Courses for Early Music, and the group has always performed both early and contemporary works.
Kontakte ("Contacts") is an electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen, realized in 1958–60 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) electronic-music studio in Cologne with the assistance of Gottfried Michael Koenig. The score is Nr. 12 in the composer's catalogue of works, and is dedicated to Otto Tomek.
Mesías Maiguashca is an Ecuadorian composer and an advocate of the new music, especially electroacoustic music.
Johannes Wolfgang Zender was a German conductor and composer. He was the chief conductor of several opera houses, and his compositions, many of them vocal music, have been performed at international festivals.
Georg Katzer was a German composer and teacher. The last master student of Hanns Eisler, he composed music in many genres, including works for the stage. Katzer was one of the pioneers of electronic new music in the German Democratic Republic and the founder of the first electronic-music studio in the GDR. He held leading positions in music organisations, first in the East, then in the united Germany, and received many awards, including the Art Prize of the German Democratic Republic, the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German Music Authors' Prize.
Hymnen is an electronic and concrete work, with optional live performers, by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in 1966–67, and elaborated in 1969. In the composer's catalog of works, it is "Nr. 22".
Walter Fedor Georg Abendroth was a German composer, editor, and writer on music.
Carré (Square) for four orchestras and four choirs (1959–60) is a composition by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is Work Number 10 in the composer's catalog of works.
Studie II is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1954 and, together with his Studie I, comprises his work number ("opus") 3. It is serially organized on all musical levels and was the first published score of electronic music.
Studie I is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1953. It lasts 9 minutes 42 seconds and, together with his Studie II, comprises his work number ("opus") 3.
Il canto sospeso is a cantata for vocal soloists, choir, and orchestra by the Italian composer Luigi Nono, written in 1955–56. It is one of the most admired examples of serial composition from the 1950s, but has also excited controversy over the relationship between its political content and its compositional means.
Ferdinand Franz Wallraf was a German botanist, mathematician, theologian, collector and Roman Catholic priest. His collection formed the founding nucleus of the Wallraf–Richartz Museum.
Wolfram Steinbeck is a German musicologist.
Based upon a translation from the German Wikipedia, with additions and modifications drawn in part from New Grove