Dick Higgins (1938-1998)

The Thousand Symphonies (1970)

Symphony No. 163, A Winter Solstice Symphony For Geoff Hendricks
  1. Allegro Serioso 38:30
  2. Andantino 5:44
  3. Scherzo Finale 5:18
Symphony No. 323, Ad Honorem Philippi, A Salsa Symphony
  1. Symphony No. 323, Ad Honorem Philippi, A Salsa Symphony 8:44
Symphony No. 357
  1. Andante Allegretto 2:04
  2. Largo 3:10
  3. Presto Con Ritornelli 2:03
Symphony No. 342, In 4 Movements
  1. Symphony No. 342, In 4 Movements 6:19
Symphony No. 609, The Divers
  1. Symphony No. 609, The Divers 2:32
A Sample Page
  1. A Sample Page 4:39

At Higgins's request, Captain Toby of the South Brunswick police force shredded blank pieces of sheet music with a submachine gun, resulting in a score whose bullet holes serve as unconventional notations and whose angles and severity dictate timbre, melody, and tempo. The Thousand Symphonies reprises a score that Higgins produced in March 1962, the twelfth in his Danger Music series. According to the artist, they were inspired by the surge of civil unrest and violence in the 1960s.

Various Works

1. Storm Riders, 1982 (33:43)

""For example, one of my Hörspiel compositions of 1982, entitled Storm Riders, collages the first Moral Essay by Alexander Pope and my own poems from a set in which all the nouns and all the verbs begin with 'St', spoken by characters whose names begin with 'St'. These 'St' people are then referred to where all the nouns appear in Pope's original text, so that I have Alexander Pope talking about Harriet Beecher Stowe or Alfred Stieglitz or Igor Stravinsky and people whom obviously Pope could not have known. This substitution and interplay becomes a perfectly valid form of New Hörspiel, and yet it's absolutely maddening when I play these kinds of things to a composer, because the composer finds the musical implications are more or less minimal. The piece functions conceptually on a completely different plane from the one that composers are used to."

- from an interview with Nicholas Zurbrugg, July 1993

2. In Memoriam (1961)

In memoriam was made of assembring loops a dub a phonograph record of 16th century dance music.

The dance is heard, simultaneously, up to sixteen times as fast and sixteen times as slow as the original, backwords as well as forward, giving a sort of cinematic effect.

3. Omnia Gallia (1980)

Omnia Gallia is a sound or performance poem using three voices (all mine in this case);the list could be varied year by year to keep its dualities current (see enclosed score) Dick Higgins

Dick Higgins' Visual Poetry on UbuWeb Historical
"A Short History of Pattern Poetry" on UbuWeb Papers
"Synesthesia and Intersenses: Intermedia" on UbuWeb Papers
"A Taxonomy of Sound Poetry" on UbuWeb Papers
Dick Higgins' Films on UbuWeb Films