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International Symposium Iannis Xenakis

Athens, May 2005 (Definitive proceedings)

The quality and richness of Xenakis' word is amazing. First, we have the music itself, as sound result. While remaining unified (we always recognize a Xenakis' composition), the compositional universe is really diversified as Xenakis went through very different periods: from the works of the bartókian phase to Metastaseis, from Pithoprakta to the ST period, and then to group theory works, from Nuits to the Brownian motion and arborescences works, from Jonchaies to the late period… This production is also diversified if we think it in matters of musical genres: instrumental and electroacoustic music; solo, chamber and orchestral pieces inside the first; concrète or electronic compositions inside the second. Then, there are the concepts and "theories", and, more generally, the writings. Here also the richness can satisfy almost all kinds of interests, and of specialists. Are you interested in pitch theory? Then, you can study the sieve theory. Are you looking for granular experiments? Then, have a look at chapter II of Musiques formelles. Xenakis' invention concerning music formalization was not only pioneer, but grew also in several directions : stochastics, symbolic logic, game theory, group theory, sieve theory, cellular automata, dynamic stochastic synthesis. But there is no reason to reduce his musical-theoretical world to the idea of formalization. Indeed, we can find in Xenakis' writings very important in quality and in quantity discussions concerning several ideas that matter for music: time, originality, the relationship with sciences, the idea of morphology, the couples determinism/indeterminism, continuity/discontinuity, the dichotomy in/outside-time, space, the notion of "expression", the relationship with technology or with Orphism, the psychoacoustics of sound perception… And, of course, there is also the architectural works and the polytopes.

It is why the interest for Xenakis' world is growing more and more. Literature about his artistic and theoretical production already constitutes an important corpus. From a Ph.D. thesis to an occasional reference, from an analysis of the theories to an aesthetic interpretation, many authors have written about Xenakis' work since the middle of the 1960s, contributing to the emergence of what could be called "Xenakian studies". This literature has an exponential growing. While in the 1960s and 1970s there were few studies, during the 1980s and 1990s, numerous articles, books and thesis were realized. And since Xenakis' death, there is an explosion of the Xenakian studies.

During the first international symposium dedicated to Xenakis (Paris, 1998, proceedings published in 2001), Présences de / Presences of Iannis Xenakis, 25 papers where presented, and their authors came from 10 countries. In this second international symposium, the International Symposium Iannis Xenakis, Athens, May 2005, we had 45 papers and 11 workshops, representing 15 countries. After a "call for papers", all the proposals (presented as abstracts) were accepted, so as each author could develop its thought. For the Symposium itself there was a provisional edition of the proceedings with all the papers.

We present here a selection of these papers.

Makis Solomos, Anastasia Georgaki, Giorgos Zervos
October 2006

Organising committee

University of Athens: Anastasia Georgaki, Charalambos Spyridis, Georgos Zervos
University of Montpellier 3 (Institut Universitaire de France): Makis Solomos

Honorary committee

Kostas Filinis, Rudolf Frisius, François-Bernard Mâche, Françoise Xenakis, Mâkhi Xenakis.

Scientific committee

Anne-Sylvie Barthel-Calvet (France), Agostino Di Scipio (Italy), Anastasia Georgaki (Greece), Benoît Gibson (Portugal, Canada), James Harley (USA, Canada), Peter Hoffmann (Germany), Mihu Iliescu (France), Sharon Kanach (France, USA), Makis Solomos (France, Greece), Charalambos Spyridis (Greece), Ronald Squibbs (USA), Georgos Zervos (Greece).


The papers selected for these definitive online proceedings begin with the sign:

Wednesday 18th May 2005

Opening addresses (University of Athens)

A Hélène (1977). Choir of the University of Athens, Department of Musical Studies. Musical direction: Nikos Maliaras

Tradition and originality  (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture Giorgos Zervos: "Musical material and originality in Xenakis’s music"

* Key-lecture Giorgos Zervos: “Musical material and originality in Xenakis’s music”

Antonios Antonopoulos: "The ontological-cosmological positions of Xenakis in Formalized Music"

Dimitris Lekkas: "Whatever I don’t like, I change"

Fotis Mousoulides: "Iannis Xenakis: the demand for a world music and the Pythagorean model"

Charles W. Turner: "Iannis Xenakis’s ‘Vers une métamusique’:  The Social Context of a Musical Theory"

Kevin Jones, Kathleen Wong: "A comparison of the musical and scientific thinking of Xenakis with that of ancient China: the architecture of scales and the notion of lü"

Aesthetical, philosophical aspects  (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture Mihu Iliescu: "Glissandi et traces : une étude des rapports entre le musical et l’extramusical"

Chris Murray, "Before Ecstasy, Beyond Formalization"

Konstantinos Kakavelakis: "Delphic announcements and musical divinations in Xenakis’ sound ichnography"

Sander van Maas: "Subjectivity in Xenakis: Intensity, Grain, Fold"

Andrej Slavik: "The abstraction of drama"

Markos Tsetsos: "Causality and freedom in Xenakis. A critical examination"

Early electroacoustic music (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture Agostino Di Scipio: "Formalisation and intuition in Analogique A/B (1958-59)"

Séverine Bridoux-Michel: "Sur Concret PH (1958)"

Pierre Couprie: "Une analyse détaillée de Bohor (1962)"

Workshops (University of Athens) :

Michael Grave Hvass, Kasper Ravn, Jesper Valentin Holm, Susanne Nielsen, Stine Hein and Bent Abrak: "The Pavillon ‘04"

Sinan Bokesoy: "Similarities and differences in the application of stochastic

Mikhail Malt: "Achorripsis (OpenMusic)"

Stephan Schaub and Mikhail Malt: "Akrata (OpenMusic)"

Gérard Assayag: "Herma (OpenMusic)"

Carlos Agon and Moreno Andreatta: "Nomos Alpha (OpenMusic)"


Thursday 199h May 2005

Compositionnal theory and practice 1 (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture Makis Solomos: "Cellular automata in Xenakis’s music. Theory and practice"

Stephan Schaub: "Akrata (1964 –1965) pour orchestre à vents de Xenakis: Analyses"

Joris de Henau: "Gmeeoorh (1974) de Xenakis et la musique nouvelle pour orgue. Histoire et analyse"

Costas Tsougras: "An analysis of Pour la Paix (1981) for a cappella mixed choir by Xenakis"

Dimitrios Exarchos: "Inside/Outside-Time: Metabolae in Xenakis’s Tetora

Key-lecture Rudolf Frisius: "Aspects of phenomenological analysis in the music of Xenakis"

On space (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture Anne-Sylvie Barthel-Calvet: "La notion de vitesse chez Xenakis"

Boris Hofmann: "Aspects spatiaux dans les œuvres instrumentales de Xenakis"

Helena Santana, Rosario Santana: "Persephassa (1969) – renaissance, personnification et transmutation d’une idée"

Workshops (University of Athens) :

Thierry Coduys (La kitchen): "De l'UPIC à Iannix"

Kostas Moschos (IEMA): "Upic"

Peter Hoffmann: "The GENDYN Workshop"

Leontios Hadjileondiadis: "Pok-Ta-Pok: A 3-D extension to Xenakis perception of Game-Theory"

Benny Sluchin, Gérard Assayag: "Linaia Agon (Max/OpenMusic)"

On performance (Institut Français d’Athènes):

Katrin Zenz, Kostas Theodoratos: "Dmaathen (1976) by Xenakis"

Athanasios Zervas: "An analysis of XAS (1987) for saxophone quartet by Xenakis: Searching for the design and content through a representative theory of all music"

Mikhail Doubov: "Piano music by Xenakis: performing interpretation of logical models"

Round table. The dialectic of the new and the old in composition (Institut Français d’Athènes). With Agostino Di Scipio, James Harley, Michalis Lapidakis, Joseph Papadatos, Nikolas Valsamakis, Giorgos Zervos. Moderator: Leigh Landy.

Concert 1 (Institut Français d’Athènes):

Diamorphoses, 1957

Bohor, 1962

Xmix (James Harley)

Voyage absolu des Unari vers Andromède, 1989

S.709, 1994

Concert works compilation and technical supervision: Nikolas Valsamakis

Friday 209h May 2005Compositionnal theory and practice 2 (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture Charalambos Spyridis: "On Herma (1960-61)"

Ilias Chrissochoidis, Stavros Chouliaras, Christos Mitsakis: "Set theory in Xenakis's Eonta (1963-64)"

Evaggelia Vagopoulou: "On Oresteia (1965-66)"

Key-lecture Ronald Squibbs: "The Composer’s Flair: Achorripsis as Music"

Compositionnal theory and practice 3 (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture Benoît Gibson: "Self-Borrowing in the Instrumental Music of Iannis Xenakis"

Sotiris Fotopoulos: "Ikhoor (1978). Constellation des techniques dans un univers des formes"

Christina Anagnostopoulou, Chris Share, Darrell Conklin: "Xenakis’s Keren (1986): A computational semiotic analysis"

Key-lecture Benny Sluchin: "Linaia-Agon (1972). Vers une interprétation basée sur la théorie"

Xenakis and other composers (University of Athens) :

Key-lecture James Harley: "The Creative Compositional Legacy of Xenakis"

Elena Ferapontova: "Stravinsky and Xenakis: parallels in music and semantic"

Kostas Paparrigopoulos: "Western and Eastern approach of chance in the music of Xenakis and Cage. Theses and contra-theses"

Minas Borboudakis: "The percussions through three generations (influences and evolutions of composition for percussion through Varèse’s Ionisation, Xenakis’ Rebonds and Borboudakis’Evlogitiria)"

Key-lecture Anastasia Georgaki: "The impact of Xenakis technological thought in ourdays computer music currents"

Meeting with Mâkhi Xenakis (Institut Français d’Athènes). In discussion with Sharon Kanach and Makis Solomos

Concert 2 (Institut Français d’Athènes):

Herma, 1960-61

Evryali, 1973

A r., 1987

Piano: Ermis Theodorakis

Psappha, 1975

Percussion: Dimitris Desillas

XAS, 1987

Athens Saxophone Quartet (Athanasios Zervas: soprano saxophone; Botonis Botonakis: alto saxophone; Babis Pantazopoulos: tenor saxophone; Marinos Galatsinos: barytone saxophone)

Theraps, 1975-76

Double bass: Vassilis Papavassiliou

Eonta, 1963-64

Small Brass Ensemble (Athens Municipal Big band) (Makis Skliros, Dionysis Kokolis: trumpet; Antonis Andreou, Yiannis Arvanitakis, Yiorgos Zareas, trombone); Ermis Theodorakis: piano; Athanasios Zervas, musical direction.

Video Installation Iannis Xenakis: Person and Works in Dialog by  Efi Xirou (Video), Iannis Zannos (Sound) (University of Athens)

Exhibition Iannis Xenakis: Exhibition of Archives Materia, from the Thomas Tamvakos’ Archive of Greek Classical Composers (Stoa tou Vivliou).

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