A new version of Stockhausen's SYNTHI-FOU

Probably since I heard Antonio Perez Abellán play SYNTHI-FOU in Kürten (Germany) in 2009, I knew I wanted to work in this piece.

SYNTHI-FOU setup for aus LICHT 2019

Pianist Ivan Pavlov watching video material from the premiére of SYNTHI-FOU in my home studio in Rijnsburg.


The score calls for 131 different sound timbres on multiple synthesisers that are used in succession through the piece, often more than one timbre is being played simultaneously. In this project, it was my duty to design the instrument (as a combination of hardware and software) for Ivan to perform the piece in aus LICHT. It comprised multiple pedals, keyboards and pads that Ivan had to learn to play. Having no prior experience in synthesiser playing, Ivan had to devote a lot of his time to practice in the new setup. Together with my colleague Omer Eilam (also aus LICHT student) we set out to make all the sounds –and their adaptations for each musical phrase– from scratch.



Working on SYNTHI-FOU in Kürten (Germany) January 2018: Ivan Pavlov, Juan Verdaguer, Omer Eilam and Kathinka Pasveer (taking the picture)




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 ©2021 Juan Verdaguer

Photos by Juan Verdaguer, Guille Conte and Katie Clark