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Santa Monica Hosts Classical Take on the Summer of Love

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

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Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau


By Jorge Casuso

January 17, 2014 -- German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen’s vocal masterpiece “Stimmung,” which will be performed in Santa Monica this month, literally evokes the vibe of the sixties.

Presented by Jacaranda, the work for six solo voices -- said to have been inspired by the ruins of Mexico and a frozen Long Island Sound – is based on the concept of tuning: both in musical harmony and in the tuning of the soul.

“Described as a trance-like stream of consciousness, ‘Stimmung’ was inspired by walking among the ancient pyramids of Mexico, as well as by the spirit of free love permeating the period,” concert promoters said.

“The work’s steamy erotic poetry, usually performed in German, will be heard in English.”

VOXNOVA Italia, which is making its international debut, will perform the approximately 70-minute work as part of a concert titled “Hallucination” that will be presented Saturday, January 25 at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica.

The widely acclaimed European vocal ensemble, which was founded in France 22 years ago, is dedicated to performing the works of 20th and 21st Century composers and has performed in some of Europe’s most prestigious venues.

The group will be “reincarnated” with five Italian contemporary vocal music “specialists” under the direction of founder and Stockhausen protégé, bass baritone Nicholas Isherwood, concert promoters said.

Isherwood says that he has “‘cracked the code’ of Stockhausen’s score by producing the harmonic balances asked for by the composer,” promoters said.

A reviewer for the website wrote that “the effect (of the composition) on the listener is simply hypnotic and is similar in many ways to the works of the so-called ‘minimalist’ composers. The overtones of the voices take on the sounds of wind instruments, like a flute or a bassoon.”

The concert will open with cellist Timothy Loo performing “Nomos Alpha,” a 1966 composition by Greek composer Iannis Xenakis.

“The highly complex 15-minute work is considered impossible to perform as written,” promoters said. “Loo will employ innovative new technology to completely render the work.” The concert will recall the “’Summer of Love’ and impossible dreams of the late 1960s,” Jacaranda officials said.

The concert will take place January 25 at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1220 2nd Street., Santa Monica. There will be a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 general admission and $20 for students. For information or to purchase tickets visit or call (213) 483-0216.

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