Karlheinz Stockhausen's Helikopter-Streichquartett is one of the most controversial and talked-about works of art in recent years. Composed for the Arditti Quartet and premiered at the 1995 Holland Festival, it involves the four members of a string quartet playing in four different helicopters flying through the air. The music the quartet plays is then sent to a central space and mixed at a sound board. In his film Helicopter String Quartet, Frank Scheffer documents the complex preparations in the month leading up to the premiere of this work, as well as eliciting insights from the composer regarding how he conceived and executed it. Stockhausen tells Scheffer, for example, that the idea for the work came to him in a dream he had of musicians being able to fly. He then produced a fascinatingly original score in which each instrument is written in a different color, and in which the four string lines frequently jump from one staff to the other in order to imitate birds flying in different formations. Stockhausen also analyzes the content of the work for Scheffer, in particular showing how the writing for the quartet is meant to merge with the sonic characteristics of the helicopters. Scheffer goes behind the scenes and, stage by stage, shows the enormous production needed to realize Helikopter-Streichquartett.