“Kombination XI” by Stephen Travis Pope

  • ©, , Kombination XI


    Kombination XI

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    Composer, Director, Choreographer:



Artist Statement:

    Music for live speaker/actor and tape. Combination 11 is a poem by Helmut Heissenbuttel  (1956). All of the sound material for the piece (with the exception of the pedal tone heard throughout), is derived from the recorded voices of two people, speaking the text of the poem with very different German accents. These sounds are processed and mixed in the style of ‘musique concrete’ collages. The musical form is that of a rondo. An analog recording was sampled onto a NeXT workstation, using an Ariel analog-to-digital convertor. The voice sounds were processed and mixed using a software phase vocoder and the cmusic sound compiler program.

    Text of Kombination XI / Combination 11

    Helmut Heissenbuttel, Hamburg/Stuttgart, 1956
    translation by Stephen Travis Pope, Vienna, 1978

    Die Nacht ist ein Muster aus Bogenlampen und Autoracklichtern.
    The night is a pattern of arc lamps and auto taillights.
    Auf der reglosen Fläche der Alster stehen die weissen Fahnen der Nacht.
    On the calm surface of the Alster (river) stand the white flags of night.
    Unter den Baumen gehen die Schatten.
    Under the trees walk the shadows.
    Ich bin’s.
    It’s me.

    Schattengitter fiber dem schmelzenden Eis
    Shadow-grids over the melting ice
    Auf Spiegelstelzen stehen die Lichter am Ufer.
    On mirror-stands stand the lights along the bank.
    Die unbelichteten Stellen verblühen.
    The unlight places wither.

    All diese Satze
    All these sentences
    Das Inventar der Gelegenheiten
    The inventory of the possibilities
    Vergiss nicht
    Don’t forget
    Gerede von Schallplatten
    Talking on records
    Das Gedachtnis von Tonfilmstreifen die abgespielt sind
    The memory of sound-film-strips that are played out

    Und die Fragen sind die Satze die ich nicht aussprechen kann.
    And the questions are the sentences that I cannot pronounce.
    Und die Gedanken sind die Vogel die wegfliegen und nicht wiederkommen.
    And the thoughts are the birds that fly away and do not return.

    Poem text copyright 1956, Bechtle-Verlag. Used by permission.



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