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The Phenomenology of LIGHT: an interpretation of Stockhausen's opera cycle drawing on Heidegger's Fourfold and Lacanian psychoanalysis

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posted on 06.06.2019, 00:35 by IAN LAWRENCE PARSONS
This thesis offers a new interpretation on the music and symbolism of the seven-part opera cycle LICHT (LIGHT), composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen from 1977-2003. It is an interpretation that moves away from conventional theologically-oriented approaches and instead examines LICHT as commentary on the human search to understand the meaning and purpose of its existence. In doing this, the thesis draws on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and the psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan, ultimately proposing LICHT as an optimistic representation of the human condition, continually growing through its ongoing search to reach and grasp that which lies beyond it.


Principal supervisor

Paul Edward Watt

Additional supervisor 1

Ryan Ross Smith

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts

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