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    Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary at MOCA

    From November 2010 through January 2011, Los Angeles’ body became the recipient of a great, big, fat, donor belly full of events based around the Greek composer, architect and mathematician, Iannis Xenakis. An exhibition of his scores, drawings and graphics entitled Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary was on display at MOCA Pacific Design Center for a full three months.

    The Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, California. MOCA at the Pacific Design Center. Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary at MOCA. Sharon Kanach lectures on the life and times of Iannis Xenakis. Iannis Xenakis, reproduction score for Metastasis, 1953. Iannis Xenakis, plot for flashes in a polytope. Iannis Xenakis, study for Metastasis, 1953. Iannis Xenakis, architectural rendering, late 1950s. Iannis Xenakis, sketch for the Polytope of Montreal, 1967.

    Starting with his breakthrough piece Metastasis (1953), the show visually traced every major period of the man’s career, from his pioneering work on the mathematically surreal Philips Pavillion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, through his polytope / electro-acoustic music / laser light spectacles of the 1960s and ’70s to a couple of late period architectural renderings, including conceptual sketches of massive, five-kilometer tall, curved mega-skyscrapers and a cell-like desert home for fellow composer Roger Reynolds.

    Iannis Xenakis, colorful graphic score, 1950s. Sharon Kanach continues her lecture about Iannis Xenakis upstairs at MOCA. Iannis Xenakis, Le Diatope, Paris, France, 1977. Iannis Xenakis, Polytope de Cluny, Paris, France, 1972-73. Iannis Xenakis, study for the Polytope de Cluny, Paris, France, 1972-73. Sharon continues her lecture. A glass case full of Iannis Xenakis goodies. Iannis Xenakis, light and sound spectacle, Persepolis, Iran, 1971. Iannis Xenakis, light and sound spectacle, Persepolis, Iran, 1971.

    There were also a few videos, including a virtual walk-through of the aforementioned Philips Pavillion, interviews with the composer, etc. Much more in-between stuff was included, as well, and the whole quesadilla was detailed on January 27 in a one-hour, cough-punctuated lecture by Xenakis scholar, friend and cold-sufferer, Sharon Kanach. It was wonderful to see so much vintage Xenakis material up close and personal.

    More glass case goodies. More glass case goodies. Iannis Xenakis, scale model of a house design for Roger Reynolds, 1990s.
    Photos enlarge.

    Text and photos ©2011 Arcane Candy

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