Stockhausen's "Helicopter String Quartet" stresses the parity of the sounds of helicopter rotors and string instruments. The rarely played piece was performed from 700 meters (2,300 feet) above ground this week.
Musicians Johannes Denhoff, Luciana Duta, Zazie Lewandowski and Karl Huros of Braunschweig's Staatstheater climbed into helicopters and put their instruments to work on Sunday to make the performance of contemporary composer Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Helicopter String Quartet" a success.
"When you're up above in the air, it is truly a feeling of euphoria," Denhoff told German news agency DPA. "You feel like you're part of a work of art."
The "Helicopter String Quartet" consists of four helicopters and as many musicians. The participants play from inside the hovering crafts. The combined sound of the instruments and the helicopters make up the piece, which is part of a 29-hour work called "Light Cycle."
Audience crucial to success
The concert of rotors and strings was broadcast in a hangar from which the helicopters took off. Once the helicopters reached the altitude of 700 meters (2,300 feet) and were visible only as small specks in the sky, the hangar doors closed and the audience turned to the four large screens on which they could follow the individual musicians.