Stockhausen's Dream

Frank Scheffer

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In 1995 Holland Festival hosted the world premiere of the renowned HELIKOPTERSTREICHQUARTETT, part of the MITTWOCH opera. Members of the famous Ardii Quartet flew above Amsterdam, each in a separate helicopter, while making music. Filmmaker Frank Scheffer recorded everything with sixteen cameras and a helicopter. Now he is presenting Stockhausen’s Dream, a ‘helicopter string quartet installation’ on five screens, based on the footage from 1995. On the days of and surrounding the marathon performance aus LICHT, which includes another live performance of HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT, the installation can be seen at Het Ketelhuis cinema, along with Helicopter String Quartet (1996), Scheffer’s documentary about the creation of this legendary work.


Having studied at the Academy for Industrial Design in Eindhoven, the Vrije Academie (Free Academy) in The Hague and at the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam, the Dutch documentary maker and 

experimental filmmaker Frank Scheffer (Venlo, 1956) is known for his films Time is Music (1988), Voyage to Cythera (1999), Conducting Mahler (1996) and A Labyrinth of Time (2004), amongst many others. Scheffer's intuitive, poetic films predominantly deal with the connections between film language and music, the similarities in their relation to rhythm, the experience of time and memory. Drawing his inspiration from the works of the post-war generation of composers, including Louis Andriessen, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Elliot Carter, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Frank Zappa, Scheffer uses visual images like a composer uses notes to create a new, abstract experience. In his films, image and sound combine to offer the audience a new, individual visual and aural experience - which is why he is often referred to as a 'pure filmmaker'. A number of his films have been shown at the Holland Festival, including some 18 films as part of his 43-part film programme A labyrinth of imagesin 2001, and his Mahler: ich bin der welt abhanden gekommen in 2004, which was the concluding part to his trilogy about Gustav Mahler, the conductor Ricardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2015, Scheffer was one of the main contributors to Het Innerlijke Landschap (The Inner Landscape), a piece which combines Scheffer's documentary film about the Chinese composer Guo Wenjing and the decline of Chinese opera with live music composed by Guo and performed by the Nieuw Ensemble. 



concept and realisation
Frank Scheffer

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