The composition 'Helicopter-Streichquartett' by Karlheinz Stockhausen is the third part of Mittwoch from his opera cycle Licht. It is a composition for four helicopters and a string quartet. In June 1995 this strange piece had its world première during the Holland Festival. The four members of the Arditti String Quartet each went up in a separate helicopter with a transmitter. Pictures and sound were then transmitted to the auditorium where Stockhausen, like a true magician, mixed the sounds of both the helicopters (as an integral part of the composition) with that of the musicians on the spot. Director Frank Scheffer filmed the whole spectacle and put it into a documentary. The pictures of the composition's performance are juxtaposed with pictures of the preparations, rehearsals and conversations with Stockhausen. A unique registration of a unique spectacle.

Filmmaker
Frank Scheffer
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
1995
Medium
16mm
Length
77’
Language
English, German
Producer
Allegri Film, Ton van der Lee, Frank Scheffer
Writer
Frank Scheffer
Cinematography
Joost van Gelder
Editor
Jan Wouter van Reijen