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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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. Xenakis, an accomplished architectsaw the chief difference between music and architecture as that while space is viewable from all directions, music can only be experienced from one.

When you hear Xenakis’s music — any piece of what we recognise as his mature work, starting with ‘s Mefastasisonwards — you’re confronted with an aesthetic that ainnis unprecedented according to any of the frames of reference that musical works usually relate to. Shrapnel from a blast from a British tank causes a horrendous facial injury that means the permanent loss of sight in one eye.

Hearing this piece is as awesome an experience as watching some life-changing natural spectacle. But this was a metaztasis 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.

He is particularly remembered for the pioneering use of stochastic mathematical techniques in his compositions, including probability Maxwell-Boltzmann kinetic theory of gases, aleatory distribution of points on a plane, minimal constraints, Gaussian distribution, Markov chainsgame theory, group theory, Boolean algebra and Iannia motion.

In warfare, as Xenakis knew it through his musical ear, no individual bullet being fired could be distinguished among ,etastasis cacophony, but taken as a whole the sound of “gunfire” was clearly identifiable.

A guide to Iannis Xenakis’s music

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: This site uses cookies.


You are commenting using your Twitter account. As Ben Watson has put it, Xenakis’s work is ” an alien shard, glimmering in the heart of the West “. It’s music whose sheer, scintillating physicality creates its own territory in every piece, whether it’s for solo cello or huge orchestra. Thought and Mathematics in Composition Beethoven described nature in the Pastoral Symphony, Sibelius was terrified by it in Tapiola, but it took Xenakis for music to become nature.

His Life in Musicp.

A Greek man in his early 20s fights for his homeland as xenais of the Communist resistance at the end of the second world war. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. The 2nd movement does have some sort of melodic element. The Metastaseis are a hinge between classical music which includes serial music and ‘formalized music’ which the composer was obliged to inculcate into composition”.

The piece is oannis by the strings, which open the piece in unison before their split into 46 separate parts. Jonchaies embodies the elemental truth about all of Xenakis’s music.

Iannis Xenakis – Metastasis () | CLASSICALCOM

Music usually consists of a set of sounds ordered in metastsis music played backwards is hardly recognizable. On holiday in Corsica, Xenakis would pilot his canoe into the teeth of the biggest storm he and his paddle could manage. Iannis Xenakis in his studio in Paris, circa 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.


Metastaseis was inspired by the iiannis of an Einsteinian view of time and Xenakis’ memory of the sounds of warfareand structured metastaasis mathematical ideas by Le Corbusier.

Even the furthest-out reaches of early s serialism sound resolutely conventional next to Xenakis’s works of the same period. You did read xdnakis right: As Newtonian views of time show it flowing linearly, Einsteinian views show it as a function of matter and energy ; change one of those quantities and time too is changed. You won’t hear vestiges of things like familiar forms, or shapes, or languages.

See you out there…. 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. Xenakis attempted to make this distinction in his music.

His first major work, it was written in —54 after his studies with Olivier Messiaen and is about 8 minutes in length. Metastaseis requires an orchestra of 61 players 12 winds3 percussionists playing 7 instruments, 46 strings with no two performers playing the same part.

The preliminary sketch for Metastasis was in graphic notation looking more like a blueprint than a musical score, showing graphs of mass motion and glissandi like structural beams of the piece, with sound frequencies on one axis and time on the other. Show 25 25 50 All. The second movement does have some sort of melodic element. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here This integer sequence is nothing new to music: