Hermann Nitsch, Scoring system for “Ninth Symphony: The Egyptian”, (2009)
My music has its roots in crying out, in clamor, it is tied to the most extreme excitation, which is a necessity of theatre. in terms of human history, the scream precedes the word, it occurs whenever excitation is so intense that the word is not enough. My music is in no way illustrative or imposed on the actions. It comes literally from the excitation generated by what’s happening and its commotion. It intensifies the action, the action activates the music. It digs deeper into the abysses of the drama’s catastrophe. Subsequently, my acoustic composition has moved beyond the extreme archaic possibilities of expression, which I would nevertheless leave entirely. The acoustic color has become increasingly crucial. A kind of organ sound emanating from the whole orchestra is being sought. I came across the music of the o.m. theater directly through my immersion in the action.
Before my efforts there was the music of the second Viennese school, Schönberg, Webern, for whom I have so much respect that I did not want to simply rehash them. An eruption out of them had to be found. Something newly born arose out of the action. Chance acquired an important role. John cage contributed to this opening. On the other hand, very different sound dimensions were needed for the length of a 6-day play. Enormous blocks and walls of sound were employed. The orchestration tends towards the gigantic. almost a turn back to Wagner, Bruckner and Scriabin emerges. An orgiastic music is to transpose us to an intensive state wherein we find being. The o.m. theatre is comparable to a giant symphony with six movements. The sensory intensive impressions brought about the orgiastic disembowelment actions of the o.m. theatre, the experience of blood, flesh and intestines, seen, smelt and tasted, is to escalate into roaring, belling sounds.
Just as intrinsic to my music is the meditative calm of the adagio. The tranquility of the starry sky, the serene orbits of the heavenly bodies are to be savored and the universe losing itself in the infinite is to be sounded out. The music of this gesamtkunstwerk is the life-affirming mysticism of being.
-Hermann Nitsch, 1999