Karlheinz Stockhausen recalled that one day in September 1969 ‘I had the idea of one single musical figure or formula that would be expanded over a very long period of time…I wrote down this melody on an envelope.’ Thus was born Mantra, the first mature example of Stockhausen’s ‘formula’ technique which was to dominate his output until his death in 2007. Effectively a trio including a sound projectionist, Mantra retains a good deal of freedom, transcendental mysticism and playful, abandoned inventiveness within its quasi-serialist approach. This recording is the first to use digital technology, with equipment specially designed by Stockhausen’s former assistant Jan Panis, and approved by the composer.
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