Français    Search

New books

Xenakis and the Arts

In December 2011 the Universite de Rouen and Pierre-Albert Castanet hosted a symposium dedicated to “Xenakis and the Arts”. Three years later a volume is published under the same title by the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Normandie, in collaboration with the Centre Iannis Xenakis. It contains various studies about Xenakis and Brancusi, the Polytopes, Nekuïa, Xenakis and films, the Upic, etc.

Editions Point de Vue, 200 p. This book can be ordered from:

Music and rhythm

In revue Filigrane. Musique, Esthétique, sciences, société n°10:

Geneviève Mathon, Eric Dufour (ed.)

This issue begins with a previously unpublished score by Iannis Xenakis (transcribed by François-Bernard Mache), Rythmes sur tabla, which dates back to Xenakis’s training period, when he was still a student of Olivier Messiaen, and when he was more interested in the issue of rhythm than in sound or in the relations to physics and mathematics. Discovering this surprising score can help to understand the revival of rhythm in future masterpieces like Psappha. This issue on rhythm is dedicated to Daniel Charles (1935-2008), one of the most important French musicologists, who wrote important articles on XXth century music. What is the relation between rhythm and time? What is the relation between rhythm and other musical parameters? Does the musician’s approach to rhythm differ from the philosopher’s approach? Does the approach to rhythm vary according to the type of music, period, or aesthetic current in which one has an interest? The object of all of the articles collected in this volume is not to provide a synthesis of the full range of issues raised by the notion of rhythm. Rather, the volume aims to clarify the state of current research (in musicology, philosophy and academia more generally). First of all there is the issue of the relations between the various musical parameters, which cannot be overlooked in any consideration of the notion of rhythm, inasmuch as any one of the specific dimensions of music, which only exists for and through other such dimensions, can indeed be isolated in a wholly abstract and artificial manner. Secondly, there is the relation between rhythm and time. In this case there is an important distinction to be made between different ways of apprehending the issue. There is a final dimension of rhythm that needs all the more to be emphasized inasmuch as it is frequently overlooked, no doubt because it is not strictly speaking an aesthetic dimension in the sense commonly attributed to the term: the politicial dimension of rhythm.


Thesis A Caixa de Musica

Contraponto formal entre Arquitetura e a Musica, by Jose Luis Mennegotto

This thesis has for intention to develop a computer program that allows translating three-dimensional geometric objects into sound. The plastic modeling of the sound from geometry, aims to translate architectural object into music. It is, in this sense, a study of formal connection between the architecture and music. Initially, the thesis will look for the workmanship of the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis, in order to found theoretical support. The concept of outside-time musical structures and the Sieve's theory will be study. Basic knowledge in musical theory will be presented to explain the translation parameter's involved in the process. Then, the techniques and the mathematical instrument that serves to carry through the translation operation: the modular arithmetic. It will be presented pieces obtained with this technique. In the final chapter will be traced on lines of direction that allow to extend the use of the technique as instrument that helps as space guide for carrying people with visual deficiency. The thesis treats epistemologically the relation between art and science. The program will be written in AutoLISP language inside AutoCAD environment. Compo Music will be used to process the sonorous results.

Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidad Federal eo Rio de Janeiro, 2009.

The thesis can be downloaded at:

Music and Architecture by Iannis Xenakis

Architectural Projects, Texts, and Realizations
Compiled, translated and commented by Sharon Kanach
Pendragon 2008. 372 pages

This book is the first compilation ever of all of Iannis Xenakis's texts dealing with architecture and the relationships between music and architecture, and is structured under four main headings : "The Le Corbusier Years (1947 - 1959), "The cosmic city and other writings", "Xenakis: Independent architect", "The Polytopes". Xenakis's original material (presented and commented by Sharon Kanach), much of which was uncovered during the inventory process of his personal archives now on deposit at the music department of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, is appendiced by an illustrated critical index of all of his architectural projects and realizations (Sven Sterken), a thematic bibliography (Makis Solomos) and a comparative chronology (biography, musical works, architectural projects, writings).

Haut de page