Michael Vetter

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Michael Vetter (18 September 1943 – 7 December 2013) was a German composer, novelist, poet, performer, calligrapher, artist, and teacher.

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Biography

Vetter was born in Oberstdorf in the Allgäu region of Germany, and received a conventional school education. He adopted the recorder as his preferred instrument, and began experimenting in the late 1950s with its timbres and techniques, such as multiphonics and microtones. He inspired composers such as Louis Andriessen, and Rob du Bois in the Netherlands, Sylvano Bussotti in Italy, and Mauricio Kagel and Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany to use the instrument in their compositions. His technical discoveries were codified in a text, Il flauto dolce ed acerbo (The Sweet and Sour Flute, 1969), which included tables of some 2000 fingerings. [1] [2] [3]

He began studying philosophy and theology in 1964, while continuing his career as a performer. In 1967 he began composing graphically and verbally notated music, and beginning in 1968 turned to writing experimental/improvisational vocal music for children. [4]

German Pavilion at Expo '70 (the spherical auditorium is out of view to the right) Osaka Expo'70 Korean Pavilion.jpg
German Pavilion at Expo '70 (the spherical auditorium is out of view to the right)

From March to September 1970, together with nineteen other musicians, he performed works by Stockhausen (including Hymnen , Spiral , Pole , and Aus den sieben Tagen ) in the spherical auditorium of the German Pavilion at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. Back in Europe, he continued his association with Stockhausen, taking part in the world premieres of Sternklang (1971) and Alphabet für Liège (1972). [5] In 1973 he returned to Japan, where he stayed for ten years as a Zen monk. During this period he performed what he called "structural theatre" and in 1981 published a collection of writings on "experimental Zen arts" in a book titled Shijima no oto [The Sound of Silence]. He returned to Germany in 1983 to found the Zentrum für meditative Kommunikation und kommunikative Meditation in Todtmoos-Rütte. In 1993 he moved his "school in the art of living", now renamed Accademia Capraia, to a location near Seggiano/Grosseto, Italy. [1]

In 1997, Stockhausen composed for Vetter the central role of Luca, the Operator, in Michaelion, the fourth scene of his opera Mittwoch aus Licht . Vetter performed the part in the world premiere on 26 July 1998 in the Prinzregententheater, Munich (Musica Viva series). [6]

Vetter died in Munich on 7 December 2013. [7]

Musical style

Vetter's compositions are based in improvisation. His earlier works are for voice, recorder, and piano, while later he turned to the koto, Tibetan singing bowls, tambura, and gongs. [1]

Visual art

Vetter's early interest in graphically notated music turned to purely visual expression during his time in Japan, with works such as the ink-brush paintings in The Book of Signs, his 120 colour etched monotypes titled Strukturelle Mandalas and Zweistimmige Inventionen (Two-part Inventions), and the Codex Aureum (Gold-Violet Dialogue between Intention and Chance). Later works, executed after his return to Germany, include a series of panel paintings as entrances and views, titled Symphonies, Duets, Trios, Quartets, Der Kreuzweg des Lichtes, Wolkenbilder, and Die Gesetzestafeln. [5]

Writings

Compositions

Discography

Related Research Articles

<i>Mantra</i> (Stockhausen)

Mantra is a composition by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was composed in 1970 and premiered in autumn of the same year at the Donaueschingen Festival. The work is scored for two ring-modulated pianos; each player is also equipped with a chromatic set of crotales and a wood block, and one player is equipped with a short-wave radio producing morse code or a magnetic tape recording of morse code. In his catalogue of works, the composer designated it as work number 32.

<i>Aus den sieben Tagen</i>

Aus den sieben Tagen is a collection of 15 text compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in May 1968, in reaction to a personal crisis, and characterized as "Intuitive music"—music produced primarily from the intuition rather than the intellect of the performer(s). It is Work Number 26 in the composer's catalog of works.

<i>Tierkreis</i> (Stockhausen)

Tierkreis (1974–75) is a musical composition by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. The title is the German word for Zodiac, and the composition consists of twelve melodies, each representing one sign of the zodiac.

<i>Kontakte</i>

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.

Marco Blaauw Dutch trumpeter

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<i>Montag aus Licht</i>

Montag aus Licht is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting, three acts, and a farewell, and was the third of seven to be composed for the opera cycle Licht: die sieben Tage der Woche. The libretto was written by the composer.

<i>In Freundschaft</i>

In Freundschaft is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, number 46 in his catalogue of works, which is playable on a wide variety of solo instruments. It was first performed on a clarinet on 28 July 1977.

<i>Donnerstag aus Licht</i>

Donnerstag aus Licht is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting, three acts, and a farewell, and was the first of seven to be composed for the opera cycle Licht: die sieben Tage der Woche. It was written between 1977 and 1980, with a libretto by the composer.

<i>Dienstag aus Licht</i>

Dienstag aus Licht is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting and two acts, with a farewell, and was the fourth of seven to be completed for the opera cycle Licht: Die sieben Tage der Woche. It was begun in 1977 and completed from 1988 to 1991, to a libretto by the composer.

<i>Mittwoch aus Licht</i>

Mittwoch aus Licht is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting, four scenes, and a farewell. It was the sixth of seven to be composed for the opera cycle Licht: die sieben Tage der Woche, and the last to be staged. It was written between 1995 and 1997, and first staged in 2012.

<i>Spiral</i> (Stockhausen)

Spiral, for a soloist with a shortwave receiver, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968. It is Number 27 in the catalogue of the composer's works.

<i>Zeitmaße</i>

Zeitmaße is a chamber-music work for five woodwinds composed in 1955–1956 by German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen; it is Number 5 in the composer's catalog. It is the first of three wind quintets written by Stockhausen, followed by Adieu für Wolfgang Sebastian Meyer (1966) and the Rotary Wind Quintet (1997), but is scored with cor anglais instead of the usual French horn of the standard quintet. Its title refers to the different ways that musical time is treated in the composition.

<i>Refrain</i> (Stockhausen)

Refrain for three players is a chamber music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is number 11 in his catalog of works.

Prozession (Procession), for tamtam, viola, electronium, piano, microphones, filters, and potentiometers, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1967. It is Number 23 in the catalogue of the composer’s works.

<i>Pole</i> (Stockhausen)

Pole (Poles), for two performers with shortwave radio receivers and a sound projectionist, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1970. It is Number 30 in the catalogue of the composer's works.

<i>Harlekin</i>

Harlekin (Harlequin) is a composition for unaccompanied clarinet by Karlheinz Stockhausen, named for the commedia dell'arte character Harlequin. It was composed in 1975 and is Number 42 in his catalogue of works. A shorter, derived work called Der kleine Harlekin is Number 42½.

<i>Oktophonie</i>

Oktophonie (Octophony) is a 1991 octophonic electronic-music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen. A component layer of act 2 of the opera Dienstag aus Licht, it may also be performed as an independent composition. It has a duration of 69 minutes.

<i>Expo</i> (Stockhausen)

Expo, for three performers with shortwave radio receivers and a sound projectionist, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1969–70. It is Number 31 in the catalogue of the composer's works.

Schlagtrio is a chamber-music work for piano and two timpanists composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen in 1952. It is Nr. ⅓ in his catalogue of works.

<i>Ensemble</i> (Stockhausen)

Ensemble is a group-composition project devised by Karlheinz Stockhausen for the 1967 Darmstädter Ferienkurse. Twelve composers and twelve instrumentalists participated, and the resulting performance lasted four hours. It is not assigned a work number in Stockhausen's catalogue of works.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Lasocki 2001.
  2. O'Loughlin 1982, p. 37.
  3. O'Kelly 1990, pp. 59 and 99–100.
  4. Stockhausen and Vetter 1996, pp. 94 and 97.
  5. 1 2 Stockhausen and Vetter 1996, pp. 95 and 98.
  6. Stockhausen 2002, pp. VII and XV.
  7. Nikeprelevic 2013.

Cited sources

Further reading