From Dasein to Jenseits: searching for meaning in Stockhausen’s LICHT

Date/Time: Thu 07 Sep / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: Monash University, Room E561, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music

Music Research Seminar

From Dasein to Jenseits: searching for meaning in Stockhausen’s LICHT

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s seven-part opera cycle LICHT is typically viewed in musicological and hermeneutic discourse as a work that depicts somewhat bizarre and esoteric theological concepts through serialist compositional methods. My research is examining those methods from a new perspective, drawing on the semiotic psychoanalytical concepts of Jacques Lacan, to demonstrate how LICHT can be understood as an intensely human drama that depicts ubiquitous human tensions. I examine how the musical nucleus of LICHT, its so-called ‘Superformula’, can be invested with personality and agency and that such an approach generates an intriguing new interpretation of this 20th- and 21st-Century operatic colossus.

Ian Parsons is a PhD candidate at Monash University, with an interest in the connections between music and other disciplines, particularly philosophy. His Honours research explored connections between Wittgenstein’s language theories and various interpretations of Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise. He is now researching the symbolism in Stockhausen’s opera cycle LICHT.

For further information, please contact Adrian McNeil on 50785.

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