Avant-Garde: Stuffed Bird at 48 Sharp

The idea, the director explained, is "a collage of music with action."

The music was electronic, but the action was clearly electrifying as Karlheinz Stockhausen's Originate was presented as the top event of Manhattan's second annual Avant-Garde Festival.

It all started when Cologne's small Theater am Dom commissioned Stockhausen, 36, Germany's leading exponent of nonmusical music, to do a play. Stockhausen had eight friends with artistic talents of sorts—a painter, a poet, an amateur moviemaker, a Korean composer, a newspaper vendor, a street singer and two musicians. He also had a 94-minute composition...

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