Exhibition: Iannis Xenakis & UPIC / 27 Jan - 11 Feb



On Friday 27 January 2017 at 7 p.m. in Oris House of Architecture, the exhibition Iannis Xenakis & UPIC will open. The opening is a part of this year's edition of Night of Museums, which is dedacated to music, music history and great musicians and composers. During the opening, the members of the Cantus Ensemble will perform several Xenakis' music pieces including the following:

Danijel Martinović and Jasen Chelfi: Charisma for clarinet and  cello (1971)

Mario Šincek; Keren for trombone solo (1986)

In 2012, an interactive traveling exhibition, published by the Centre Iannis Xenakis, saw the day. It presents the tool to aid musical composition through drawing (called UPIC), created by the composer and architect Iannis Xenakis beginning in the 1950s. It traces the history of the UPIC, based on documents from the archives of the Centre Iannis Xenakis: correspondence, concert posters, photographs, video testimonials highlighting experiences by composers, or the various UPIC workshops conducted with children or the blind. In addition to the history of the tool and the biography of its maker, a focus is given to the first work composed by Iannis Xenakis on the UPIC: to discover Mycenae Alpha, the visitor may consult a video listening station (testimony by Iannis Xenakis himself and a video of the graphic score of the work).  

In addition, a web-based virtual exhibition was editorialized to prolong the experience and thus creating a link with the Digital Collections catalog of the Center Iannis Xenakis.

Iannis Xenakis (29 May 1922 – 4 February 2001) was a Greek-French composer, music theorist, architect and engineer. After 1947, he fled Greece, becoming a naturalized citizen of France. He is considered an important post-World War II composer whose works helped revolutionize 20th century classical music. Xenakis pioneered the use of mathematical models in music such as applications of set theory, stochastic processes and game theory and was also an important influence on the development of electronic and computer music. He integrated music with architecture, designing music for pre-existing spaces, and designing spaces to be integrated with specific music compositions and performances. Among his most important works are Metastaseis (1953–54) for orchestra, which introduced independent parts for every musician of the orchestra; percussion works such as Psappha (1975) and Pléïades (1979); compositions that introduced spatialization by dispersing musicians among the audience, such as Terretektorh (1966); electronic works created using Xenakis's UPIC system; and the massive multimedia performances Xenakis called polytopes. Among the numerous theoretical writings he authored, the book Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (French edition 1963, English translation 1971) is regarded as one of his most important. As an architect, Xenakis is primarily known for his early work under Le Corbusier: the Sainte Marie de La Tourette, on which the two architects collaborated, and the Philips Pavilion at Expo 58, which Xenakis designed by himself.


Collaborators, donors and sponsors of the exhibition Iannis Xenakis & UPIC: