Solo for a melody instrument with feedback is a work for a soloist with live electronics (four technician assistants) composed in 1965–66 by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It is Nr. 19 in his catalogue of works. Performance duration can vary from 10½ to 19 minutes.
Solo was first sketched in 1964 and is closely related to Plus-Minus , Momente , and Mikrophonie I ( Stockhausen 2002 , 24 and 51). It was composed in March and April 1966 on a commission from the Japanese broadcasting network Nippon Hoso Kyokai, and was premiered in two different versions on 25 April 1966 in a public concert at the NHK in Tokyo which also featured the world premiere of Stockhausen's Telemusik . The soloists were Yasusuke Hirata, trombone, and Ryū Noguchi, flute; the assisting technicians were Akira Honma, M. Nagano, Shigeru Satō, and the director of the NHK studio, Wataru Uenami. The score is dedicated to Alfred Schlee, the director of the Vienna branch of Universal Edition ( Stockhausen 1971 , 85 and captions to plates 18 and 19, between pages 80 and 81).
For the Tokyo premiere a special table with adjustable guide rollers was constructed, to enable different delay times for the tape playback. In subsequent performances a single tape was threaded through seven tape recorders, and eventually an apparatus was constructed especially for Solo in the Institute for Sonology at the University of Utrecht. However, this piece of equipment remained private property and was not made available for hire ( Stockhausen 1971 , 87). By 1970 computers were already considered as a replacement for the tape delay, but was regarded prohibitively expensive ( Stockhausen 2009 , 192). Twenty years later, after initial difficulties, one such version was made at IRCAM in 1992, using Max/MSP on a NeXT computer, and successfully performed in public in February and March 1993. In March 1998 this program was adapted to run on commercially available computers. Pre-programming on the computer can fulfill the functions originally assigned to the assistant technicians, thus requiring only a single assistant to control the sound ( Sluchin 2000 , 42). In notes for a 2002 performance also using a computerised system, Stockhausen acknowledged the IRCAM version, emphasising that it was done live, but nevertheless concluded that "It will still be a long time until young musicians … will be able to learn the interpretation of SOLO with suitable mobile apparatuses" ( Stockhausen 2002 , 24 and 51). Bass clarinetist Jason Alder performed "Solo" in June 2010 in Amsterdam, and subsequently in later concerts, in this way. By developing a Max/MSP patch to run on his laptop, he is able to perform the piece anywhere without the original equipment constraints ( Sparnaay 2011 , 99).
Feedback (Rückkopplung) in this case refers to tape delay, through which music played by the soloist is made to return after periods of time specified in six different form plans, one of which is to be chosen for any performance ( Stockhausen 1971 , 86). The performer is given six pages of conventionally notated material constituting the "content" of the work, and selects material according to certain criteria, playing it into a stereo pair of microphones that feed into the tape-loop system. Three assistants choose one or both recording channels, the degree of feedback, and the level of sound to be emitted from the speakers. This results in a regular though transformed periodic recurrence of the initial material, while the soloist adds new material over it. The system of the feedback plan therefore is the piece, since any musical relationships present on the sheets of music are destroyed by the atomisation and reorganisation created by this system ( Harvey 1975 , 97–99) .
Stockhausen discovered early on that the originally imagined spontaneous performance of Solo was far more difficult than expected. Consequently, versions prepared in advance were used from the outset, following Stockhausen’s suggestions ( Stockhausen 2002 , 24 and 51). In the first commercial recording, with Vinko Globokar on trombone, Stockhausen supplemented the live performance with excerpts from his electronic composition Hymnen , following the method he had already used in Mikrophonie II , where he inserted tape recordings of his own previous compositions. In the case of the trombone recording of Solo, this involved a lengthy section from the Second Region of Hymnen , including its prefatory "bridge". The trombone phrases are initially answered by electro-acoustically distorted military-band sounds of the German national anthem, similar to the way in which sounds from Gesang der Jünglinge , Carré , and Momente played back on tape answer the technologically alienated live voices of the mixed choir in Mikrophonie II (Sadie 1968; Frisius 2008 , 177–78). By 1969, Stockhausen had also taken to merging Solo with other works in a single composite performance ( Mann 1969 ).
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. A critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music". He is known for his groundbreaking work in electronic music, for introducing controlled chance into serial composition, and for musical spatialization.
In music, tape loops are loops of magnetic tape used to create repetitive, rhythmic musical patterns or dense layers of sound when played on a tape recorder. Originating in the 1940s with the work of Pierre Schaeffer, they were used among contemporary composers of 1950s and 1960s, such as Éliane Radigue, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, who used them to create phase patterns, rhythms, textures, and timbres. Popular music authors of 1960s and 1970s, particularly in psychedelic, progressive and ambient genres, used tape loops to accompany their music with innovative sound effects. In the 1980s, analog audio and tape loops with it gave way to digital audio and application of computers to generate and process sound.
Vinko Globokar is a French-Slovenian avant-garde composer and trombonist.
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.
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.
Mikrophonie is the title given by Karlheinz Stockhausen to two of his compositions, written in 1964 and 1965, in which "normally inaudible vibrations. .. are made audible by an active process of sound detection ; the microphone is used actively as a musical instrument, in contrast to its former passive function of reproducing sounds as faithfully as possible".
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".
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.
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.
Adieufür Wolfgang Sebastian Meyer is a composition for wind quintet by Karlheinz Stockhausen composed in 1966. It is Number 21 in the composer's catalog of works, and the second of Stockhausen's three wind quintets.
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.
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.
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.
Punkte (Points) is an orchestral composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, given the work number ½ in his catalogue of works.
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.
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.
Drei Lieder, for alto voice and chamber orchestra, is a song cycle by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written while he was still a conservatory student in 1950. In the composer's catalogue of works, it bears the number 1/10.
Europa-Gruss is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen for wind ensemble with optional synthesizers, and is assigned Number 72 in the composer's catalogue of works. It has a duration of about twelve-and-a-half minutes.
Musik für ein Haus is a group-composition project devised by Karlheinz Stockhausen for the 1968 Darmstädter Ferienkurse. Fourteen composers and twelve instrumentalists participated, with the resulting performance lasting four hours. It was not regarded by Stockhausen as a composition belonging solely to himself, and therefore was not assigned a number in his catalog of works.
Michael Svoboda is an American composer and trombonist who lives and works in Switzerland.