Friday, January 12, 2007

Stockhausen's rep gets rehab

This is old news, but it was new to me, so I'll pass it along: Karlheinz Stockhausen apparently isn't an American-hating worm after all, as was widely reported after 9/11.

As you may recall, after Arab terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans, the German composer was quoted as saying the attack was a huge work of art composers couldn't match. When the comment was widely reported, Stockhausen was quoted as having to climb down while under attack and "clarify" he didn't mean to suggest killing Americans was so cool, after all. The way the clarification was quoted made him sound almost as bad as the original statement.

Thanks to a blog posting from Joseph Drew, it's now clear Stockhausen's original comment was badly misrepresented at the time. It turns out that Stockhausen (who Drew says is "deeply religious") had described the attack as an artwork by Lucifer, a bit of context left out in the press reports I saw.

Drew has links to back up his interpretation of the event. Also, Drew actually studied with Stockhausen in Germany, so he would seem to know the guy and the way he thinks better than your average avante garde, trumpet playing New York City musician.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." (Mark Twain).

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