MT: You know you’re considered a strange case of prudence and foresight. And yet you don’t give up electronic production, which is a kind of gamble. Why?
KS: Because the sense of risk is actually indispensable to me. At this point, my argument is about to become metaphysical. Most people have no intention of following me to this level; but I’m convinced that the tangible results of my work, the electro-acoustical material, could even end up destroyed, and that it wouldn’t matter, because the inner impulse which compels me to bring a work to completion would remain. The idea which takes form and materializes in a substantial design of metallic molecules; the spirit which coagulates when pressed on to tape—what else are they but the exact equivalent of an abstract order? When the ear—that is, the auditory imagination—is no longer conditioned by the body, and the membrane of the loudspeaker disappears into the dust, along with the entire universe, the only thing to survive, in so far as it is ‘idea’, will be the spiritual force which emanates from my music.
—Mya Tannenbaum (trans. David Butchart),
Conversations With Stockhausen (1987)