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Ensemble Offspring


June 6, 2009 | 3:00pm

Experience the zodiac through the unique ears of the legendary Karlheinz Stockhausen. Comprised of twelve sublime melodies, Tierkreis (Zodiac) has been described as the Für Elise of Stockhausen due to its immediately memorable and affectionate quality.

Tierkreis was originally written for specially-designed music boxes in the children’s theatre piece Musik im Bauch (Music in the Belly). The child-like simplicity of the work, however, belies elaborately crafted musical formulae that capture the different character-types of the Zodiac. Tierkreis is not written for specific instruments but has to be ‘assembled’ for every new performance. Each melody is like a piece of DNA – a magical set of relationships between pitches and rhythms – that can grow into innumerable forms.

First completed in 1975, Stockhausen created many realisations of Tierkreis including one on the eve of his death in 2007. This beautiful work now lives a life of its own with versions ranging from rich orchestrations to the lonely purity of Japanese singing bowls. Ensemble Offspring’s striking arrangement features a colourful assortment of instruments including one of the original music boxes from whence the whole work began.

Zodiac is part of the Licht Concerts presented by Smart Light Sydney and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

1 Conservatorium Road
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia

“Zodiac…received an absorbing realisation from Ensemble Offspring, who released the work’s imaginative potential through the exploration of opposites, as in the seventh sign which pitched a piccolo against a bass clarinet, backed by toy piano and marimba.”

Peter McCallum for New Music Network



June 6, 2009




Sydney Conservatorium of Music
1 Conservatorium Road
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia


Karlheinz Stockhausen – Refrain
Karlheinz Stockhausen – Tierkreis
Watch video


Lamorna Nightingale (flute)
Jason Noble (clarinet)
Claire Edwardes (percussion)
Bree van Reyk (percussion & accordion)
Roland Peelman (piano)

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