Ars Electronica 1982
Festival-Program 1982
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Festival 1979-2007


Linz Sound Cloud 82
Symphonic Open-Air Concert with Mahler's Symphony No.5

'Walter Haupt Walter Haupt

Wednesday, September 29th, 1982, 8:05 p.m.
Donaupark Brucknerhaus. Linz, Upper Austria

GUSTAV MAHLER: Symphony No 5 in C-sharp minor

MOVEMENTS: Funeral march At a measured pace. Like a procession—heavily agitated. With greatest vehemence—scherzo. Vigorous—not too fast—adagietto. Very slow—rondo-finale.

PERFORMED BY: The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

CONDUCTOR: Lorin Maazel


TOTAL CONCEPT: Walter Haupt, Dr. Hannes Leopoldseder


SOUND ARRANGEMENT: Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Regional Studio for Upper Austria

We want to thank the Linz Police Department and the Fire Brigade of Linz for their assistance with the 1982 Linz Sound Cloud

PRODUCER: Linz Special Events Planning Corporation (LIVA) and the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation Regional Studio for Upper Austria, with the cooperation of the people of Linz

The Linz Sound Cloud has come to be the signature of that Austrian Festival which has proved of such appeal in its innovative and musico-technological aspect that it has caused an interdisciplinary study of three universities.

The Linz Sound Cloud often taken for the entire ARS ELECTRONICA by the local people is considered the main event which fulfills the claim postulated by the slogan "culture for everyone", achieving popularity for the work presented and at the same time facilitating the experience of fellowship at a cultural event and thus overcoming socio-cultural barriers. The Linz Sound Cloud—in the opinion of the people of Linz—has become a familiar and appreciated feature of the cultural and the communal life of the city, the centre of a communal publicity not easily established, an event that has roused European, even international interest via the media, be it synchronous acoustic or diachronous communication as in the gazettes. Its reception by the population of Upper Austria and by the international press prove that as to its aspect of production technique or aesthetics as well as to its socio-cultural dimension this major event can be seen as evidence of genuine interests.

This sound pervasion of a city, that with some critics has not only attained positive ratings, but has been appreciated by the masses owing to a superior transmission technology and to a perfectly suited site, which has been demonstrated with Upper Austria's own Anton Bruckner in the past years. This could not have been achieved if Bruckner's compositions as such had not lent themselves to the concept of open space and its acoustic pervasion. Apart from all social processes connected to the concept of a city identity, to the establishment of an (international) prestige, to the familiarizing of people who had not related to this historic art, beginning with the first Linz Sound Cloud music had to be selected for the production of this cloud which bore in itself the nucleus for pervading space, which did not refuse expansion nor the dimension of highly differentiated listening experiences.
Sooner or later, Anton Bruckner's concept of composition had to be superseded by that of Gustav Mahler, superseded, supplemented or complemented—whatever may constitute the interrelation of two composers.

Kurt Blaukopf, Austria's renowned authority on Mahler has called him "a contemporary of future'' mainly, because to him Mahler seemed to "burst'' the traditional concert hall with his music, and this music was "to be released only by stereophonic recording''. Mahler's Symphony No. 5, created in 1902 and first performed in Cologne in 1904, has not only often been quoted as an illustration for this tenet, it rather presents itself as a legitimate succession to what Bruckner had anticipated, even in its individual aspects. From the aspect of its contents, it responds to the funeral march on the death of Richard Wagner of Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 (performed in 1981) with a funeral march in its first movement, thus surveying the material that is fully exploited in the second movement, which correponds to the old idea of an execution—putting it in conventional terms.

Bruckner's choral signet for the biblical memento addressed to society is to be found towards the end of the second movement, just as the core of a scherzo is like a positive response to the first part. Mahler attempted to establish a world "with all means of available technique" (so he stated after having completed the Fifth Symphony). He adhered to a strict concept of forms and matrix of combination supplemented by most precise acoustical concepts and—putting it in terms of material—he converted trivial models of folk-song character into "music per se, which was in him, existed in him, only wanted to emerge, did not turn into anything else, had to be that way, and ought not to be questioned by anyone''—so Mahler had written to Guido Adler.

The dimension of contents, as a rule simple to define, was superseded by the inherent problems of acoustic presentation so much so, that well-versed musicians like Wilhelm Furtwängler coined for it the term of ''nihilist music of the occident", and Guido Adler assumed this "music of the future, music as an expression of itself" and of all it entails, would become the rule later on. The concept of spatial sound direction (Blaukopf) necessitated concentration on the material in all its details and moods, putting it concisely: the combination of sound and their communication through the instruments. For the use of the solo flute in his Fifth Symphony, for instance, Mahler designed a novel sound concept for this former vehicle of sweet melodies. It becomes ethereal, lacking any pathetic exuberance, removed into an infinite distance. The small E-flat clarinet, not used in symphonies before Mahler, has an impish, grotesque, even bizarre quality. The oboe is not restricted to the melancholy of the high register, it can sound without restraint in the natural medium range. The formerly gay-to-funny bassoon, can all of a sudden wail with pain in the highest register. The double-bassoon is allowed to give a bizarre solo performance and the horn (as with Anton Bruckner) plays a major part.

Concert bills have said much about the alternation of moods—from mourning to joy of living, from resignation to calculated optimism, from preoccupation with death to sensuality. The attempt may have been made to explain an acoustically feasible world of sound presented in unknown dimensions and animated by its diversity and contrast not of its contents but of its acoustic alternatives. Spatial concepts is probably the motivation for the accomplishment of the Fifth Symphony in its polymorphy and complexity. These acoustic interpretations ranging from the trivial to the most sophisticated coincide happily with the acoustic attentiveness of a listener to the Linz Sound Cloud, if he inserts himself into the process of this extensive open-air concert. Listening (immersion in the Linz Sound Cloud) is acoustically speaking nothing but personal experience of musically differentiated processes, it means approaching them (literally!) or withdrawing from them, pursuing the expansion of expression into infinite space and assessing to what extent the acoustic offer can be adapted to the own personal receptivity.

The 1982 Linz Sound Cloud is undoubtedly a touchstone. For the first time, the huge square along the bank of the Danube is filled with the music of a composer without regional sentimental attachment, one who is not its famous offspring, not the historic property of the citizens of Linz, a composer whose work they are hardly familiar with. Gustav Mahler's music, however, just as well as that of Anton Bruckner's, complies with the demand of space—to its open-air projection as well as to the concept of musical inspiration. Gustav Mahler's idea of a music per se, of a process provoked by material exclusively is now being put to test—whether its scope can it be transferred into open space, whether it can take manifold amplification. The people of Linz and the rest of the audience via the media are likewise being tested: can they observe impartially the structures of this music even if they feel no emotional attachment to the composer, can they absorb them, pursue the sequence of collages, analyse them, can they pay attention to the material space sound concept to the same extent of understanding as they have done with the previous Linz Sound Cloud. Any success—whatever its dimensions—will have to be assessed.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Manfred Wagner
Walter Haupt:
With Mahler's Symphony No. 5, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, an absolutely novel sound pattern will be created. Gustav Mahler may be called the spiritual father of our sound experiments. His symphonic work exceeds the limits of the conventional concert-hall. Spatial disposition of sound sources exists in his colourful compositions (distant orchestras are included in the score, a post horn sounded at a distance, etc ). Sounds carry spatial symbolism. His work lends itself particularly well for our projects, A new form of music and sound performances presents itself feasible only by the technical possibilities of our time The open-air area of the Linz Sound Cloud comprises a site of 1.5 by 1 km divided by the Danube river. The live-production is being transmitted from the Main Hall of the Brucknerhaus to the open-air site of the Danube Park through 8 separate groups of loudspeakers.

The Fifth Symphony by Gustav Mahler begins outside of the sound-centre at the first loudspeaker post. It is installed on a ship afloat on the river and at the beginning of the first movement it slowly approaches the sound centre corresponding to the composer's instructions—"at a measured pace, sternly like a procession"—the funeral march. Arranged for brass, this funeral march is of thematic significance within the symphony (also in the second movement) and this sound pattern (installed on the ship) will cruise through the sound-centre or remain in a static position.

The electro-acoustic equipment has been enlarged and a new listening dimension has been added to the lateral sound dimensions—the sound-ceiling: vertically adjustable loudspeaker equipment has been suspended above the listeners in the Danube Park on a 30 m high crane.

At any dynamic climax of the symphony this soundceiling will beam an additional integrated orchestra sound to the sound-centre and thus the listening experience will attain a new dimension.

The orchestra performing live in the Brucknerhaus is split into 8 sections by separated transmitting processes and these individual instrumental particles are combined into a new orchestra grouping in the open-air Danube Park The audience is to feel surrounded by a giant invisible orchestra in the Danube Park and by listening attentively they may clearly perceive how the various groups of instruments are fanned-out, how sound sources, sound direction and sound distance vary.

A new execution of music adhering to the score and the implied directions of the composer Gustav Mahler is being attempted.

In adequate preparation for this large-scale acoustic event a scaled-down model has been prepared to try and practice the complicated entries, superpositions and dynamic adjustments.

In this experiment, the realization sets in with the analytic splitting-up of the score which—along the composer's lines—is to establish highly transparent sound patterns, well balanced as to instruments and dynamics. In the process these acoustic components are being assembled and the project manager becomes a sound-director shaping the symphony into a music mise-en-scène. On the evening of the Linz Sound Cloud, Walter Haupt will direct the execution of the Fifth Symphony (as interpreted by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Lorin Maazel) as a sub-conductor in the sound-centre via the 8 different loudspeaker posts.
1. Central Open-Air Event in the Danube Park
The one and a half square kilometer site becomes a huge concert-hall. In the new technical set-up the live production of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Lorin Maazel is being transmitted with a total output of about 50,000 watts.

2. Brucknerhaus
Concert in the Main Hall, Stereophony in the Medium Hall, Mahler from ear to ear in the Foyer. In the halls of the Brucknerhaus and in the foyer of the Medium Hall, Mahler's Fifth Symphony can be listened to in different ways. The audience cannot only select but also compare.

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor. Here the audience can enjoy a concert in the traditional way.

In compliance with the motto "from ear to ear" the symphony is picked up in the Main Hall by the artificial head and can then be heard over ear-phones in the Foyer. This artificial head, and the ear-phones installed in the Foyer are to enable listeners to hear the Fifth Symphony "from ear to ear".

By special pick-up techniques—including directional microphones—the live-production is not only used for transmission to the Danube Park but also for stereophonic transmission into the Medium Hall. The different facilities are to offer the audience a variety of listening experiences.

3. Radio-Animation:
"we are all there"
The live-production of the Fifth Symphony is not only used for transmission to the Danube Park as well as the premises of the Brucknerhaus, it is also broadcast live over the radio. Everyone can participate. This way Upper Austria—its capital Linz in particular—is to be dominated by the Fifth Symphony of Gustav Mahler. People are called up to put their "radio in the window" and their "loudspeakers at the door" so that town and country may resound with Mahler. Radio sets in the windows are to be tuned to the regional program of Radio Upper Austria 95.195 MHz or to the national program of Austria 1 at 8:05 p.m. on September 29, 1982. Radio sets and loudspeakers are to carry the music into the city, the towns and villages, into the whole country. The project "radio in the window" offers ample opportunity for individual initiative.

Since 1979 Austrian Federal Railways have also taken part in the event of the Linz Sound Cloud: In 1982, passengers can hear Gustav Mahler's music at the Main Station of Linz—the central loudspeaker unit will be tuned to the radio broadcast of Mahler's Symphony; taxis are joining, too- their car-radios will also be tuned to Radio Upper Austria or Austria 1 with the Fifth Symphony by Gustav Mahler at 8:05 p.m. on September 19, 1982.

By offering a scope of listening facilities, the project Linz Sound Cloud tries to present symphonic music to an audience exceeding that of the traditional concert-going elite and to create new large-scale centres of communication.