In 2002, CIRCUS S presents two premieres:

In both performances, the six musicians, their multifarious instruments and the electronic sound sources are positioned all around the tent. Along with conventional large and small drums, vibraphone and gongs, the instrumentation includes large cacti, aquaria and tree branches. The audience can freely choose where to sit - on cushions, chairs and benches.

Programme 1 MUSICIRCUS +

The MUSICIRCUS by John Cage (born 90 years ago, died 10 years ago in August) is conceived to unify very different musics. He uses every means at his disposal to create disorientation, lightheartedness, melodiousness and much that is unexpected; in their MUSICIRCUS+ CIRCUS S also incorporate contributions from local children's and amateur music groups.

John Cage
(5. September 1912 -
12. August 1992)

Open Cages, a closed CIRCUS ON Silence (1979/2002)
a means of translating a book into a performance without actors, a performance which is both literary and musical
realised from John Cage’s Silence by Arnold Marinissen, Massimo Mariani and Stephan Meier

Jan Boerman Kringloop I (1994/95) tape music
Karlheinz Stockhausen

“Leo“ (23.7. - 22.8.) and “Virgo“ (23.8. - 22.9.) from
TIERKREIS - 12 melodies of the Zodiac

Volker Staub from Waldstücke Nr. 24, Teil I (1987-94)
John Cage from Song Books (1970)
José-Maria Sanchez-Verdù Refranh (2002, first performance) commission for CIRCUS S as ”jingle“
Children‘s groups

Orchestra dei Rumori con i bambini dellEstate in Citta di Seveso/
Niedersächsischer Landesjugendzirkus; Klasse 9a der Goetheschule / project-participants from Utrecht

John Cage

Trio (1939) percussion trio
cComposed Improvisation (1990)
Variations I any number of players, any sound producing means (1958)
BRANCHES (1975) for amplified plant materials

Nikolaus A. Huber Clash Music (1989)
John Cage

Sonata for Two Voices (1933) for any two ore more instruments

Ron Ford

curves (2000) for theremin

José-Maria Sanchez-Verdù

Refranh (2002) ”jingle“

Guest musicians

from Milano / Hannover / Utrecht

John Cage

Six (1991)

Helmut Oehring

looser/sex (2002, instrumentation, arrangement: Stephan Meier, first performance) percussionsextett and tape, commission for CIRCUS S

Programme 2 Pulsar

The high artifice of Pulsar lets sounds arise, wander and decay within, between and around the listeners. Karlheinz Stockhausen gives birth to the music of each one zodiac sign; Gérard Grisey takes the rhythms of two pulsar stars as the basis of a roaring, thundering ambient sound experience.

Karlheinz Stockhausen

from TIERKREIS - 12 melodies of the star signs (1975/2002)
arranged for percussion quartett and musical boxes distributed around a tent
by Stephan Meier
Libra (23.9. - 22.10.)
Sagittarius (22.11. - 21.12.)
Leo (23.7. - 22.8.) and
Aries (21.3. - 21.4.)

"I began to study the 12 human characters of the Zodiac, of which I had until then only a vague idea, more thoroughly. While inventing each melody I thought of the essences of children, friends and acquaintances who had been born under that star sign." Each melody, finally, is composed with all its measures and proportions in harmony with the characteristics of its sign. Each single note of our tonal system forms in its specific way the central tone of one melody that, originally composed for music boxes, can be performed on any melody and/or chordal instrument.

José-Maria Sanchez-Verdù
(* 1968)

Refranh (2002)
first performance of a commission for CIRCUS S (integral version)


Gérard Grisey
(1946 - 1998)

Le Noir de lEtoile (1989/90)
for six percussionists, recorded sound and spatial projections of astronomic signals prima esecuzione italiana

"For my son Raphael."

"In 1967, a young astronomer detected a radio wave signal in the form of periodic pulses coming every 1.3 seconds. Pulsars have a diameter of no more than 30 km, but a mass equivalent to that of our sun. Part of their radiation is emitted within the radio waveband and can thus be picked up by large radio telescopes. Transformed into electrical signals, they can be amplified and used to excite the membrane of a loudspeaker. The first pulsar you will hear is the Vela pulsar, the ripples from a supernova explosion some 12,000 years ago. It spins on its axis 11 times per second. The second pulsar is known only by its astronomical coordinates: 0329+54. It rotates 1.4 times per second. The supernova that generated it exploded 5 million years ago, and its radio waves take 7,500 years to reach the earth. Listen closely to the ticking of these cosmic clocks, open the window, and wait for the right moment." (J. P. Luminet)