When you hear Xenakis’s music – any piece of what we recognise as his mature work, starting with ‘s Metastasis, onwards – you’re.

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A guide to Iannis Xenakis’s music

Xenakis resisted the label of being a mere mathematician in music just as surely as he refused the idea of his music’s political xenalis social message, and it was of course how he used those scientific principles outlined in his book, Formalized Music to create pieces of shattering visceral power. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Do them in your music’. And he designed a system for the conversion of graphic stimuli into sound, a programme he called UPIC and which has now morphed into more sophisticated computer software like IanniX.

This integer sequence is nothing new to music: Among the closest Xenakis comes to a direct emotional utterance is in his Nuits for chorus; music that sounds like a primordial cry, an impassioned scream. April Learn how and when to remove this template message.

By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that Skimlinks cookies will be set. You’ll hear a piano part of mind-bending complexity, which has the unique distinction, as far as I’m aware, of having a separate stave for each finger.

Messiaen’s similar observations led to his noted uses of non-retrogradable rhythms ; Xenakis wished to reconcile the linear perception of music with a relativistic view of time. When you hear Xenakis’s music — any piece of what we recognise as his mature work, starting with ‘s Metastasisonwards — you’re confronted with an aesthetic that seems unprecedented according to any of the frames metastaasis reference that metastwsis works usually relate to.

Xenakis attempted to make this distinction in his music. But this was a man so much out of the ordinary that I said… ‘No, you are almost 30, you have the good fortune of being Greek, of being an architect and having studied special mathematics. Articles with French-language external links Articles lacking in-text citations from April All articles lacking in-text citations Articles containing Greek-language text All pages needing factual verification Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from July All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from March Articles with German-language external links.


This idea of the Golden Section and the Fibonacci Sequence was also a favorite of Xenakis in his architectural works; the Convent de La Tourette was built on this principle. As Ben Watson has put it, Xenakis’s work is ” an alien shard, glimmering in the heart of the West “.

Those are some clues to the elemental concerns of his music. Yet unlike many avant-garde composers of this century who would take such a thing as the completed score, Xenakis notated every event in traditional notation. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Take a look at his near-contemporary design for a ” Cosmic City “, a gloriously sci-fi vision of the metropolis of the future – and what happens when Dan Dare meets curvy brutalism.

Listen to it as loud as you can and convert all your neighbours to Xenakis too. The work was premiered at the Donaueschingen Festival with Hans Rosbaud conducting. The piece is dominated by the strings, which open the piece in unison before their split into 46 separate parts. Notify me of new posts via email. Compositions by Iannis Xenakis compositions. The title page of the published score gives Metastaseis B in the composer’s handwriting, and it appears typeset in this form on the score cover as well.

Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Mwtastasis title, a portmanteau[3] in the plural, [4] Meta after or beyond – stasis immobilityrefers to the dialectical contrast between movement or change and nondirectionality.

The preliminary sketch for Metastasis was in graphic notation looking more like a blueprint than a musical score, showing graphs of mass metxstasis and glissandi like structural beams of the piece, with sound frequencies on one axis and time on the other.

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Metastaseis (Xenakis) – Wikipedia

The piece that converted me, though, was Jonchaies for orchestra, composed inand quite simply one of the most exciting experiences you can have in music.


It sounds like something out of a film script. In fact, this design ended up being the basis for the Philips Pavilionwhich had no flat surfaces but rather the hyperbolic paraboloids of his musical masses and swells.

Take advantage of these things. You did read that right: Shrapnel from a blast from a British tank causes a horrendous facial injury that means the permanent loss of sight in one eye. In this video I tried to display this by presenting the frequency spectrum And that’s exactly what Xenakis would do, and was already doing – which is both one explanation of his music’s shocking otherness it was heard as “alien” even by the hipsters of the early s; the premiere of Metastasis at the Donaueschingen Festival was one of the scandals of postwar music and a revelation of this music’s deep, primal rootedness in richer and older phenomena even than musical history: A fragment of a tone row is used, with durations based on the Fibonacci sequence 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34….

Xenakis uses 10 staves in this piece. Even the furthest-out reaches of early s serialism sound resolutely conventional next to Xenakis’s works of the same period. When you’re listening to his music, you also go out there into the eye of a musical storm that will invigorate, inspire, and awe. The second movement does have some sort of melodic element. Xenakis’s music — and its preternaturally brilliant performers – allows its listeners to witness seismic events close xfnakis hand, to be at the middle of a musical happening of cosmic intensity.

Beethoven described nature in the Pastoral Symphony, Sibelius was terrified by iannia in Tapiola, but it took Xenakis for music to become nature.