Page 1 of 18 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 266

Thread: Iannis Xenakis

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,728
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Iannis Xenakis


    Iannis Xenakis (May 29, 1922 – February 4, 2001) was a Greek composer, music theorist and architect. He is commonly recognized as one of the most important post-war avant-garde composers. Xenakis pioneered the use of mathematical models such as applications of set theory, varied use of stochastic processes, game theory, etc., in music, and was also an important influence on the development of electronic music.

    (From Wikipedia)

    I've just heard a piece by Xenakis for string orchestra called Shaar, live in concert. The textures were rich, the sonorities amazing as he really pushed the instruments to their limit.

    I haven't heard anything else by him, so I would be interested in the views and information about good recordings, etc. by people who are more familiar with him...

  2. #2
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,334
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default

    One of his more famous pieces (I think...) is called "Metastasis." It's very strange and interesting to listen to, with a striking beginning: a group of strings start on a unison pitch, then one string starts a slow glissando away from the pitch, and then another instrument at a different rate of glissando, then another, etc. Then there is a central section, which I can't remember so clearly as it's been a long since I've listened to it (and that was for the first time). After the middle section, the musicians all go back to the disparate notes at the end of section "A" and glissando to the unison. Quite a striking bit of work, I must say. It's one of those rare avant-garde pieces that makes real sense.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

  3. Likes Lukecash12, brotagonist liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    132
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You have me intrigued. I'm wondering how one could possibly incorporate game theory into music.

  5. #4
    some guy
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    "Metastasis"... It's one of those rare avant-garde pieces that makes real sense.
    Hahaha, good one World. (By the way, it's 2009 already. And avant-garde pieces that make sense aren't all that rare!!)

    Anyway, for Andre, Xenakis is one of those rare (!!) composers whose output is pretty consistently good. (Shaar, by the way, just came up on another board, where the members savaged it pretty thoroughly. Heigh ho.)

    I'm away from my collection at the moment, and I don't feel like going through the drudgery of calling up a list of his compositions to refresh my memory. So I'll just say that Pithoprakta was a big favorite of ours back in the day. Orient-Occident is very nice, along the lines of Varese's Poeme electronique, but Bohor is the truly radical early electroacoustic piece of his. An early electroacoustic minimal piece. (But don't think "repetition of small cells." That's only one kind of minimalism.) And Kraanerg's a pretty big piece, in many ways.

    For someone just starting out, I'd suggest a disc of early works, a disc of electroacoustic (electronic), and a disc of late works. Maybe a disc of chamber works, too. His characteristically dense sound is not the only characteristic of his music! Most important is how consistent he is. Means you're pretty safe buying just about anything of his.

  6. #5
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,334
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    Hahaha, good one World. (By the way, it's 2009 already. And avant-garde pieces that make sense aren't all that rare!!)
    Hey, I was just having some fun. Actually, this thread began a bit of an "avant-garde" phase with me for a bit; I've got some Xenakis and Ligeti lined up.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    170
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    For those who have never heard the music of Xenakis -

    Pithoprakta
    http://www.imeem.com/people/DDm_63t/...s-pithoprakta/

    Metastasis
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZazYFchLRI

    Almost six minutes of Shaar
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=max-kThy58c

    1/2 hour documentary
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...DqCg&q=xenakis
    Last edited by msegers; Aug-24-2009 at 02:35. Reason: punctuation

  8. #7
    Junior Member Bartók's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Posts
    33
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think that the highlights of Xenakis's music is his work for percussion. Pieces like Psappha and Rebonds show off his highly innovative and intricate style of composing. This music sounds so unique, it is amazing to try to think what was going through his mind when he came up with it.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cotswolds, UK
    Posts
    1,011
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    What I find fascinating is that Xenakis's compositions are highly rigorous, yet the soundworlds appear unconstrained, gutsy, violent, aggressive, and other startling adjectives. There's a primeval emotive force to many of his works.

    I can only think of one other work by any one else that combines rigour with excitement so well.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    3,165
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just bought this Double-CD by this composer today as I am trying to add some more contemporary works to my listening:



    Pretty cheap ($15 AUS!), will report back here when I have listened .

  11. Likes millionrainbows liked this post
  12. #10
    Senior Member Poppin' Fresh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    386
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have quite a large collection of his, I think he's amazing. My favorite Xenakis work is La Legende d'Eer, a staggering electronic piece structured on a slow build that has to be experienced all the way through to be believed. Gives me chills every time.

    His percussion works are also great and definitely worth checking out.

  13. Likes Lukecash12, Jobis liked this post
  14. #11
    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,021
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    I like his chamber works. There's so much going on it's hard to loose interest.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

  15. #12
    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,349
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    He was working with Le Corbusier as profesional architect, then become a composer, studied under Messiaen. Most of his works I've listened at youtube, like Metastatis, Orient Occident, Anaktoria etc. are all I hardly can define as music. It is of course a great creation as he got strong concept laying behind. But, I will more interested to read a discussion about his works in this forum, rather than that 4'33".

  16. #13
    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    3,165
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Conor71 View Post
    Just bought this Double-CD by this composer today as I am trying to add some more contemporary works to my listening:



    Pretty cheap ($15 AUS!), will report back here when I have listened .
    I finally finished listening to the Xenakis chamber music set! - To be honest I found these discs pretty hard going and have concluded that this music might be a bit too austere for me at the moment!.
    I have'nt given up on Xenakis and have checked out a few clips of his music on You-Tube to find some of his music which be more my cup of tea - I have ordered a new disc of Orchestral works which I think may be more to be liking and it will hopefully arrive soon :


  17. Likes Morimur liked this post
  18. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,728
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just got this yesterday & have listened to it three times.



    An amazing journey. Reflecting the subject matter of the Legend of Er (from Plato's Republic) where a guy dies, goes into the underworld - for want of a better term - and then wakes up again. Like the ancient Greeks' concept of this other world, which was kind of a combination of heaven and hell, this music has brutality as well as beauty. The music builds up in layers, from very basic materials (if you only listen to the first five minutes, you might think that it's minimalist). There's also a strong structural/architectural element in this music, reflecting not only Xenakis background as an architect, but also the fact that it was written for the opening of the Georges Pompidou arts centre in Paris in the late '70's. It's just amazing music, and one of my springboards into electronica by other composers...

  19. Likes Lukecash12, millionrainbows, ptr and 1 others liked this post
  20. #15
    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,931
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    So this thread has proved really useful for me, im just beginning to explore his works.

    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    For someone just starting out, I'd suggest a disc of early works, a disc of electroacoustic (electronic), and a disc of late works. Maybe a disc of chamber works, too. His characteristically dense sound is not the only characteristic of his music! Most important is how consistent he is. Means you're pretty safe buying just about anything of his.
    What exactly do you recommend? Which early works etc..? And what would be a good selection of pieces that represent him in each of his 'phases'?

    Thanks a lot.

Page 1 of 18 1234511 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •