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Les Percussions de Strasbourg / Karlheinz Stockhausen / Simon Steen-Andersen

“Music in the Belly” is perhaps one of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s most unusual endeavors. The title preceded the work itself: when his daughter’s stomach rumbled, the composer told her that she had music in her belly. The toddler began to laugh, repeating the phrase over and over. Seven years passed before, in the spring of 1974, Stockhausen awoke from a dream and wrote the first sketch.

Upon a commission by Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the composition for six percussionists and twelve specially constructed music boxes premiered at the Festival de Royan in 1975.
The score contains more stage directions than notes and the music consists of only twelve different melodies, each corresponding to the signs of the zodiac, forming the separate piece “Tierkreis”, one of Stockhausen’s best-known compositions.

The much more elaborate “Music in the Belly”, complete with theatrical elements, has recently been reinterpreted and revived by Simon Steen-Andersen for Les Percussions de Strasbourg to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its conception.

Orientating himself on the original score, the Danish composer has not changed a note, but adds scenographic concepts and technological methods inspired by other works by Stockhausen. His goal: to imagine Stockhausen’s dream that sparked the original creation and bring it to life on stage.


  • Les Percussions de Strasbourg
  • Léa Koster – percussion
  • Youjin Lee – percussion
  • Olivia Martin – percussion
  • Vanessa Porter – percussion
  • Lou Renaud Bailly –  percussion
  • Hsin-Hsuan Wu – percussion
  • Claude Mathia, Raffaele Renne – technical team
  • Albane Aubin – stage building
  • Les Percussions de Strasbourg – executive production and commission
  • Festival Musica, La Muse en circuit – co-production

Musik im Bauch

für sechs Performer:innen

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen (1975) – Komposition
  • Simon Steen-Andersen (2022) – Konzept, Inszenierung, Elektronik

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