Ars Electronica 1984
Festival-Program 1984
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Festival 1979-2007


Linz Sound Cloud ´84

'Walter Haupt Walter Haupt


Friday, September 14th, 1984, 8.00 p.m.
Danube Park, Brucknerhaus

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: Symphonie No. 9 d-minor op. 25

Allegro ma non troppo, poco maestoso
Molto vivace, presto
Adagio molto e cantabile
Allegro assai, presto

Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra
Choir of "Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien", Vienna; (Choir training: Helmuth Froschauer)

CONDUCTOR: Milan Horvat

SOLOISTS: Urszula Koszut (soprano), Jutta Geister (alto), Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz (tenor), Kurt Rydl (bass)

IDEA, ARRANGEMENT AND REALIZATION: Walter Haupt, Dr. Hannes Leopoldseder


SOUND TECHNICS: ORF Upper Austrian Regional Studios, Gernot Gökler, Hannes Strutzenberger, Gerhard Blöchl


Walter Haupt:
The initiative to transfer music into the open space is very old: In archaic reports we already may read about large musical settings, mostly dedicated to a cultic purpose. These experiments, these efforts for multi-dimensional hearing have been continued up to our time.

In order to initiate the new experiences of listening, like sound distance, sound location and sound direction, I had to get away from the clearly-shaped spatial dimensions of a concert hall and to break out from the limitations of reflecting walls and ceilings, which I no longer wanted to set limits to the parameters of hearing I had in mind. It is electro-acoustical industry who gives us the means to go beyond the customary boundaries of listening and to create new dimensions of perception.

In 1973 I created the first "Sound Cloud" experiment: "Music For A Landscape". My intention was to envelop a complete landscape in a sound environment. The town and the valley of Weigenstein were the ideal place to start with.

I sketched a composition for nine solitary sound stations in the shape of creation, movement, constellations, rotations, tensions and interferences of sound planes. The loud speaker-units were installed on the slopes at different places oriented towards the town. The population of Weigenstein was integrated into the process as a part of the landscape; during the rehearsals the new experiences of listening had to fight their way through the old conceptions of the audience—nevertheless, on the evening of the performance they had accepted the experiment, it had become their event, it had become part of their landscape.

The press spoke about an "event of importance in musical history", to me it was a process of learning, increasing my ambitions to turn my back on the concert hall with its elitary audience in order to initiate large-scale social centres of communication with new listening experiences.

In 1978 another "Sound Cloud " experiment followed with Carl Orff's "Entrata" and a completely different conception, under consideration of the given structures of Munich downtown. Three separated orchestra formations dispersed over the Marienplatz played the composition under my conductorship. The sound results of the different groups were transmitted to five church spires equipped with large loudspeaker units and transmitted from there onto the Munich downtown as the live orchestras played. A gigantic balloon, the visual landmark of the event, was also equipped with PA-units and stood in the air high above the place of event as a kind of acoustical ceiling. No special place for the auditory was defined, the spectators could go near the PA-units and thus take up a sound image detail or rather stay in the centre of the manifold impressive acoustical conception.
In 1979 I organized—together with an experimental theatre group—a week of existential, scenical and musical transformation processes with my own compositions in a very fascinating crater landscape in Italy. So a new alternative scene emerged as a contrast to the traditional concerts in fixed buildings.

Still before the first "LINZ SOUND CLOUD" was presented in 1979 (with Bruckner's symphony No. 8), 1 had to meet the attack of Bruckneranians and traditionally ambitioned concert-goers—I did not earn much goodwill for my attempts.

When then in the evening the Bruckner symphony became an event of acoustical perception in the Danube park—not for the usual thousand, but for 100,000 people in the audience—the spell was broken:

The Linz Sound Cloud became a fixed and integrated part of the International Bruckner Festival and especially of the Ars Electronica, taking place for the first time then.

A program of cultural animation had been accepted, which gained the industrial town of Linz an international reputation as a "sound town".

The "Sound Cloud" is an empirical process, finding its basis in Linz and furthered by people giving it a new chance for further development every year.

Cultural animation is an important concern of our time, and as such it was accepted by the organizing committee of Ars Electronica—in addition to the activities suggested by the title and thus it was possible to realize in 1980 my project of "Musica creativa", a "Join-In-Concert" for 3000 non-professional musicians with self-made musical instruments on the Linz Main Square. Through this specification (creation of musical experiments for and with a large public) Ars Electronica has gained a clear profile among all the festivals in its sector.

Under the motto of "Art For Everybody" the festival furthers a new type of communicative large-scale events and offers on the other hand through its thematical conception an insight into the development of the electronical sectors and their artistical applications. So it can be understood as a peep-hole into the future.

The constant performance and the radio transmissions of the Linz Sound Cloud have led to the result of many smaller towns initiating sound clouds above their centers, and although using less technical equipment, the idea of a new communicative listening event is already experienced everywhere.

But not only in Austria (in Salzburg concerts are already transmitted into the Domhof), also in America, Holland, Italy, France and Germany (in Munich a transmission of an opera was realized in parts of the downtown on the occasion of the Catholic Congress Day) the idea of a SYMPHONIC OPEN-AIR makes its way.

In a very large-scale correspondance at home and abroad I very willingly pass on my ideas and experience of many a year and I am glad about the vivid interest.

The largest project of this kind was the "Fire Theatre with the Sound Cloud" in Berlin, where about 500,000 people gathered in front of the historical Reichstag Building in order to listen in peaceful unity to the sounds of Stravinski, Orff, Handel, Mussorgsky and Haupt and to watch the gigantic fireworks by André Heller.

The title "Sound Cloud" has become a standard term in the meantime, a symbol of a new experience of listening to music in the open space.

International music experts have visited Linz in order to become acquainted with this model, and composers like Isao Tomita—who was instantly fascinated by the Sound Cloud—will elaborate an own interpretation with the conception already existing in Linz.

The 6th "LINZ SOUND CLOUD" will take place on September 14th with a new technical conception and Ludwig van Beethoven's symphony No. 9. For the first time soloist singers and a choir are integrated into the sound image, for this purpose a 7th sound station is installed. I want to build up the symphony as a constantly increasing arch up to the climax of the chorus attack "Freude, schöner Götterfunken". Many technical advances in the field of sound equipment development will be tested at the 6th Sound Cloud, the synchronous sound center will be enlarged and the dynamic range of the system is amplified to more than 60,000 Watts. The different sound stations will be differently used and only on the culmination point all of the seven towers shall be in action.

It is my personal concern to declare this symphony with its summons from Schiller's Ode To Joy: "Alle Menschen werden Brüder" ("All men become brethren") a demonstration for peace in the world. In a time when in Europe a new wave of rearmament—not only with nuclear, but also with chemical and conventional arms—is initiated, when the US plan a gigantic effort of armament in outer space, where the policy of armament leads to a continuous pauperization in the countries of the Third World and to a constant aggravation of political conflicts, when the Soviet Union reacts with appropriate countermeasures, we should all engage in the fight for world-wide peace and disarmament and for the mutual respect and understanding in the world.

No composer could disregard Beethoven's works, and still today these works are on top of the programs of the concert managements all over the world as well as on top of the charts of the record industry. And although musicians, scientists and audience are as unanimous as they rarely are in their judgement (for some of them it really became a love-hate relationship), the terms with which the argumentation is fought—from distance to emphasis—are of a conspicuous constance. This already demonstrates, that a decision about the often actualized, but really not so important question of Beethoven's relationship to the classical period is not possible. Besides, the differentiated "usability" of the Beethovenian opus is based in himself. Thus a classification as "exemplary" will always have to entrain a specification "with regard to", which again could be understood as a contradiction to the first—and what is left is the "timelessness" of a greatness, always accepted, although in different ways.

If there are considerable differences between classical and romantic attitudes towards Nature, towards Time, towards History, etc., if classical Vienna may be regarded (among others) as the musical side of the Enlightenment and of Idealism or rather the reflexion of Josephinism (the Austrian—and not at all uniform—form of Enlightenment), and if on the other hand musical romanticism cannot simply be defined as the reverse of the medal, but is rather interpreted as a reaction to the rationalistic—and still contemporary—starting points, under these aspects the classification of Beethoven within the Viennese classical period seems to be nothing less than forced and unjustified: Grown up in a spiritual climate depending on the Austrian ideas and at least supported by practically identical opinions, he came to Vienna, already formed into a strong personality, strongly oriented towards Haydn and Mozart as a composer, but nevertheless still definitely open-minded. Be it for affinity, for sentimental committment, by chance or for other reasons: this town became the definite home of the maturing and mature composer, his works were written in permanent discussion (which includes rejection) of the town's cultural and spiritual life.

The musicalization of Schiller's "Ode To Joy" had already emerged as a plan during the later Bonn years and was primarily connected with the Schiller-enthusiasm there. That this idea was taken up again after several attempts (especially in 1812, 1814/15), is not at all to be considered the confession of the insufficience of instrumental music (so Richard Wagner in his famous "Programme"), not even the enlargement of the orchestra by the human voice or even a makeshift solution, but once again a result of the crave for distinctness—reminding of Gluck and expressed in a talk to Grillparzer.

Quoted from "Musikgeschichte Österreichs', Vol. 11, by Rudolf Flotzinger and Gernot Gruber, p 204/206, Chapter 'Beethoven" Styria ed., 1979