Xenaki's music is strongly influenced by his interest in mathematical and acoustic laws. Starting in 1954, he developed his own style of music from random ( stochastic ) phenomena such as rain, a crowd or a swarm of bees: stochastic music . In addition, Xenakis tried to implement methods and findings from game theory , set theory and number theory in his compositions.
Xenakis was born into a Greek family living in Romania. In 1932 his parents emigrated with him to Greece. He studied engineering in Athens from 1940 to 1946 , was involved in the resistance struggle against the Nazi occupation and in the subsequent civil war , suffered a severe facial wound and was imprisoned, was sentenced to death, fled and went to Paris as a political refugee in 1947 . Up to this point he had only devoted himself to music on an autodidactic basis. But then he took musical and composition lessons from Arthur Honegger , Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen . At the end of the 1950s he was also sponsored by the conductor Hermann Scherchen , who in 1955 published Xenakis 'first essay on the crisis in serial music in his " Gravesaner Blätter " and premiered several of Xenakis' pieces.
Shortly after moving to Paris, he met the architect Le Corbusier , for whom Xenakis worked as an assistant for twelve years. He designed numerous buildings or oversaw their implementation, including houses in Nantes and Marseille , the Sainte-Marie de la Tourette monastery , the assembly building in Chandigarh and the stadium in Baghdad . In collaboration with Le Corbusier, he designed the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958 based on hyperbolic curves, with the help of which he had previously written his first composition Metastasis for sixty-one instruments. The world premiere of this work at the Donaueschinger Musiktage in 1955 under the direction of Hans Rosbaud brought Xenakis to the top of the international new music scene .
In 1965, thanks in part to the support of Georges Pompidou , he received French citizenship. In 1966 the EMAMu (Equipe de mathématique et d'Automatique Musicales) was founded, and from 1972 Xenakis also taught at the University of Paris. From 1966 to 1977 Xenakis built a holiday home for himself on the island of Amorgos , the organic building represents a special interpretation of Cycladic architecture .
In the three decades that followed, he wrote numerous essays and analyzes of his own and others' works in addition to numerous compositions. Xenakis was closely associated with the Shiraz arts festival . In 1968 he was represented with Nuits , a choral work. The play was dedicated to all political prisoners. In 1969 the percussion composition Persephasa was performed, a commission from the French ORTF . Persephasa refers to stories about the Greek goddess Persephone that have intercultural references. The third commissioned work for the festival was Polytope de Persépolis , a multimedia performance that premiered on August 26, 1971 in the ruins of Persepolis . In 1983 Xenakis was elected to succeed Georges Auric in the Académie des Beaux-Arts . Also in 1983 he became an honorary member of the International Society for Contemporary Music ISCM ( International Society for Contemporary Music ) ernannt.Seit 1975 he was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters .
Iannis Xenakis died in Paris in February 2001 after suffering from Alzheimer's for years and only being able to create his last works thanks to the extensive help of assistants.
The common denominator of almost all of Xenaki's compositions is the inclusion of ideas and methods that until then were less or not associated with the composition process; For example, he applies mathematical, geometric, architectural or philosophical principles to his composition. This approach also gives rise to his examination of the possibilities of digital computers. In the Paris studio CEMAMu (Center d'Etudes de Mathématique et Automatique Musicales), which he founded in 1966, graphic curves and drawings are translated into sound and sound sequences using the UPIC (Unité Polyagogique Informatique du CEMAMu) program.
Without knowing the respective formalization aspect for the listener and listening to Xenakis' music, the series of scientific laws and theorems used says something about the horizon of this compositional innovator: probability calculations, random distributions , including the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution , Gaussian distribution and Markov chains , mathematical game theory and set theory , Boolean algebra and chaos theory .
Due to his criticism of the early seriality of Karel Goeyvaerts , Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez , Xenakis' music was only performed very occasionally after his breakthrough in Germany in the 1960s - very much like that of Luigi Nono and John Cage . He never took part as a composition lecturer at the Darmstadt Summer Courses and only accepted an invitation as a guest of honor once in the late 1980s. The most famous living composer in France and other Romance countries, alongside Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez, only received increased attention and representation of his works in Germany since 1974. For example through the large Xenakis Festival of the city of Bonn and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln, which over three days with numerous concerts, a lecture by Xenakis, an exhibition of music and architectural plans, films about him and electronic music in the subway station, as well as a Diatope project in a tent in front of the main train station, which brought Xenakis' music to public awareness. In 1977 Xenakis received the Beethoven Prize of the city of Bonn.
Since then, Xenakis and his extensive work have established themselves in Germany. His best-known compositions include his piano pieces Herma , Evryali and Mists , his percussion pieces Persephassa , Psappha and Rebonds , his ensemble pieces Eonta and Échanges and his orchestral pieces Metastasis , Pithoprakta and Terretektorh , which was played with eighty-eight musicians in the audience . His last commissioned work with the working title Prometheus for the opening of the Olympic cultural program in Athens was no longer possible. The director commissioned by him, Robert Wilson , used for this project from the complete works of the composer's forty-five extraordinarily productive years.
The total work of art Poème elèctronique (for the Philips pavilion as part of the Brussels Expo 1958) by Xenakis, Le Corbusier and Edgar Varèse has had a lasting effect on the development of sound art .
- André Baltensperger, Iannis Xenakis and stochastic music. Composition in the field of tension between architecture and mathematics , Zurich 1995.
- Harry Halbreich : Yannis Xenakis . In: La Grande Encyclopédie . 20 volumes, Larousse, Paris 1971–1976, pp. 14702–14704 (French).
- James Harley, Xenakis. His life in music , London 2004. ISBN 0-415-97145-4 .
- Nouritza Matossian, Xenakis , London 1986. ISBN 1-871082-17-X .
- Ralph Paland and Christoph von Blumröder (eds.), Iannis Xenakis: The electroacoustic work. International Symposium. Conference report 2006 , Vienna 2009 (= Signals from Cologne. Contributions to the Music of Time, Volume 14), ISBN 978-3-85450-414-6 .
- Christoph Schmidt, composition and play. To Iannis Xenakis , studiopunkt, Cologne 1995 (Berliner Musik Studien 4), ISBN 978-3-89564-006-3 .
- Bálint András Varga, Conversations with Iannis Xenakis , London 1996. ISBN 0-571-17959-2 .
- Iannis Xenakis, Formalized Music. Thought and Mathematics in Music (Musique formelles, 1963) , Hillsdale-New York 1992, ISBN 1-57647-079-2 .
- Literature by and about Iannis Xenakis in the catalog of the German National Library
- http://www.iannis-xenakis.org/ (French, English)
- Entry on the website of the Académie des Beaux-Arts
- ISCM Honorary Members
- Honorary Members: Iannis Xenakis. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 27, 2019 .
- MusikTexte , 2/2001, p. 22
- Iannis Xenakis, Formalized Music. , 1992, pp. 329-334.
- IanniX - A graphical real-time open-source sequencer for digital art . Retrieved June 7, 2012 from http://iannix.org
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Ξενάκης, Ιάννης (Greek)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Greco-French composer and architect|
|DATE OF BIRTH||May 29, 1922|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Brăila , Romania|
|DATE OF DEATH||February 4, 2001|
|Place of death||Paris , France|