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Iannis Xenakis and his influence on music technology today. Xenakis : An introduction. May 29,1922 – February 4, 2001 Greek composer, music theorist, and architect/engineer

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xenakis an introduction
Xenakis: An introduction
  • May 29,1922 – February 4, 2001
  • Greek composer, music theorist, and architect/engineer
  • Born in Romania. Ethnic Greek. Forced to flee to Greece after being denounced a Communist. Later became a naturalized citizen of France and worked both in the US and in France.
  • Post-war avant-garde composer
xenakis overview of his methods
Xenakis: overview of his methods
  • Used mathematical models and applications of set theory, stochastic (random) processes and game theory to make his music.
  • Mixing music with mathematics
    • http://www.iannis-xenakis.org/xen/archi/real.html
as an architect
As an architect
  • Xenakisdesigned the hyperbolic Phillips Pavilion with Le Corbusier for the 1958 Brussels World Fair.
    • EdgardVarese’s “PoemeEletronique”
    • Concret PH” by Xenakis
  • Idea: “Math can be applied to any art form”
  • Le Corbusier’s sketches were hand over to Ixenakis
    • He was to translate them through mathematics.
    • Xenakiswas working on“Metastasis”
    • So, he turned his graphical musical sketches of Metastasis into architectural schemes
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZazYFchLRI&feature=player_embedded
concret ph
“Concret PH”
  • Crackling sound of burning charcoal
  • Tape recording - cut into hundreds of tiny pieces and arranged in various densities according to theories of probability.
  • Controlled individual elements of sound
  • “Second-order sonorities”
    • Spectrum of small moments in time larger formal structures
    • Related to the concept of fractals
analogique b
“Analogique B”
  • Tape piece written in 1959
  • Xenakis’sfirst attempt at granular synthesis
    • All sounds can be represented as micro-temporal pieces of sound called “grains.”
  • Xenakis used data that depicted a moment in time and contained information regarding the density, frequency and amplitude of grains at that moment
    • Determined by Stochastics.
cellular automata ca
Cellular automata (CA)
  • Colored cells on a grid of a specified shape
    • Cells change through discrete time steps based on a set of rules defined by surrounding cells.
    • “On” and “off” states
  • Discrete model – computability theory, mathematics, physics, biology, and microstructure modeling.
  • Xenakisused CA calculated with his “pocket computer” to determine the succession of chords within a rational, perceptible structure
  • His mapping was based on pre-determined pitches and the state of the cell chose the instrumentation.
cellular automata
Cellular automata
  • Left: Close up of Xenakis’ text/symbol pocket computer printout for his piece “Horos”
  • Right: Graphic blocks and stretched to line up with printout
in terms of mapping
In terms of mapping
  • Xenakis was the first composer to make mathematical concepts popular in composition.
  • Mapping – using numbers plugged into a system that recognizes values and manipulates data by presenting it in a way that makes sense to our minds.
in terms of mapping1
In terms of mapping
  • Xenakisdesigned the UPIC (computerized music composition tool) and is the inspiration behind the program called (IanniX)
    • IanniX is a program that can be integrated with Max
in terms of mapping2
In terms of Mapping
  • Dynamic stochastic synthesis
    • http://www.cycling74.com/forums/topic.php?id=16542
  • IanniX
    • Graphical open source sequencer
    • http://vimeo.com/25041544
  • Digitalizing tablet linked to a computer with a vector display.
    • Draw waveforms and volume envelopes on the tablet
    • Compose with the waveformsby drawing "compositions" on the tablet
      • X-axis = time
      • Y-axis = pitch.
    • Compositions can be stretched in duration, transposed, reversed, inverted, and other algorithmic transformations.
    • Allows for real time performance by moving the stylus across the tablet.
autumn theater festival paris
Autumn theater festival, paris
    • http://thesoundofeye.blogspot.com/2010/05/anton-cabalero-xenakis-polytope-ii-de.html
  • Founded the Center for Musical Mathematics and Automation
  • France and the US:
    • Center IannisXenakis (CIX)
    • Xenakis Project of the Americas (XPA)