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Iannis Xenakis

Electronic music

Iannis Xenakis is without a doubt one of the major figures in the development of music in the 20th century. In 1957, he joined Pierre Schaeffer and others at the GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales) in Paris, and it was there that Xenakis composed his early works for electronic tape. Xenakis' distinct sound is already apparent in 'Diamorphoses' (1957) which incorporates sounds of distant earthquakes, car crashes, jet engines, and other 'noise-like' sounds, and 'Concret PH' (1958), based on the sounds of burning charcoal, which was played along with Varese' 'Poème Electronique' in 1958 in the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair (which Xenakis, also an architect, mathematician and engineer, designed). 'Orient-Occident' (1960), commissioned by UNESCO as music for a film by Enrico Fulchignoni, uses the sounds of bowed boxes, bells and metal rods, sounds from the ionosphere, and a speed-altered excerpt from Xenakis' orchestral work 'Pitoprakta' are combined to create a work suggestive of the themes of the film, which tracks the development of civilization. 'Bohor' (1962), was composed mostly with the sounds of Middle Eastern bracelets. 'Hibiki-Hana-Ma' (1970, 'Reverberation-Flower-Interval'), composed for the Osaka World's Fair, was composed with the UPIC system, a graphical input device that Xenakis invented, using recordings of an orchestra, a biwa, and a snare drum. And 'S.709' (1992) is the first of two compositions created with the GENDY-N program at CEMAMu (Centre d'Etudes de Mathematiques et Automatiques Musicales / Center for Studies in Mathematics and Automated Music), Xenakis' research center near Paris. This music is extraordinary! And the CD is an essential part of history.
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File under: Array
Cat. number: EMF CD 003
Year: 1997

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