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    Iannis Xenakis at the REDCAT 2011

    February 3rd, 2011

    Claire Chenette performs Iannis Xenakis' Dmaathen (1976) at REDCAT.

    REDCAT (Walt Disney Concert Hall)
    Los Angeles, California
    January 28-30, 2011

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Presented by the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology, the first night of this three-day festival kicked off in a surprising manner with one of Xenakis’ pioneering and legendary electro-acoustic works, “Diamorphoses” (1957-58), which employed the sounds of jet planes, crashing railroad cars, Earthquake shocks, a tiny Greek bell, etc. to form very dense, dark clouds and giant, downwardly-circling sonic webs. It sounded very impressive in a multi-channel context, although, as I sat front and center, I was puzzled why the music only emanated from the speakers on the right side of the hall. Nevertheless, a wise choice to not include any kind of visuals made it much easier to concentrate on the sound.

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    Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary at MOCA

    January 31st, 2011

    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.

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    Iannis Xenakis – La Legende d’Eer

    July 31st, 2008

    Iannis Xenakis - La Legende d'Eer

    Composed in 1977-78 (but not released until 1995) for an architecture, light and sound spectacle to celebrate the opening of The Pompou Center in Paris, the 45-minute La Legende d’Eer (Diatope) is an all-time masterpiece of massive, timeless sound. Starting out with barely audible, incredibly high-pitched tones which gradually increase in volume for six or so minutes, a barren landscape of electricity eventually unfolds as buzzing electronic insects and dust devils crudely unfurl and tear across the stereo field. Eight tracks of this chaos slowly coalesce into an unbelievably dense maelstrom. Giant concrete balls roll around in vast ceramic bowls, immense piles of metal stuff gets raked, oceans of big beverage bottles rattle back and forth, numerous flying saucers ascend loudly over many layers of electronic mayhem. A few more swarms of insects whine back into view as the landscape begins to wind down with some seriously crude low-end crumble. “The close of the work, with its return to the high, whistling invocations of the opening, signifies not so much an apotheosis as the completion of a task, of an ordeal which, if the fates so decree, may be repeated an infinite number of times. But if repeated then once again completed, in all senses this is the music of a survivor.”—Richard Toop

    Label: Montaigne Catalog Number: MO 782058 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 1 Total Time: 46:00 Country: France Released: 1995 Related Artists: Francois Bayle, Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer More: Discogs, Electronic Music Foundation, Last FM, MySpace, Official, Wikipedia


    Iannis Xenakis – Electronic Music

    July 31st, 2008

    Iannis Xenakis - Electronic Music

    A really important and necessary historical reissue, the Electronic Music CD contains all of the material from the old Nonesuch Electro-Acoustic Music LP, which has been out of print since the early 1970s, plus two bonus tracks—all spanning from the mid ’50s up to the early ’90s. Drenched in flowing yet sometimes jarring late-night atmosphere and murky dark-spirit ambience, I would gladly run into a fire to rescue this object. It’s one of my Top 25 desert isle albums, for sure. In “Diamorphoses” (1957) Xenakis used the sounds of jet planes, crashing railroad cars, Earthquake shocks, a tiny Greek bell, etc. to form very dense, dark clouds and giant, downwardly-circling webs of sound. Composed as an prelude to Edgard Varese’s “Poéme Èlectronique” at the Philips Pavillion, “Concret-P.H.” (1958) is comprised exclusively of the highly magnified sound of burning charcoal. The various tracks were heavily spliced and mixed-up to form quite a delicate and strange tapestry of tinkling, crackling sonics.

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