Polytope of Montreal

The matrix of works that combine sound and light stems from Xenakis’s deep longing for abstract art. It happened for the first time in Montreal, in 1967, when Robert Bordaz – curator of the French Pavilion at the World’s Fair – asked Xenakis to compose the music for a slide show on the theme of […]

Polytope of Persepolis

The abstract art of Xenakis keeps on taking shape. In 1971 happened the fifth edition of the annual festival of Arts of Shiraz-Persepolis. Xenakis is invited to create the opening ceremony. From this invitation, an open-air Polytope will be born. The program: a sound and light show in the ruins of the ancient fortresses of […]

Polytope of Cluny

The next step in Xenakis’s sound and light shows was to automate the entire process. He took the opportunity given by Michel Guy during the Festival d’Automne in Paris in 1971. The show took place in the Roman baths of the Cluny Museum in Paris, which, being classified as a historical monument, forbade any intervention […]

Global Polytope

Reproduction of an unpublished text by Xenakis, translated: GLOBAL POLYTOPE (intercontinental network of light and sound actions) It is time today to launch artistic bridges over the oceans between continents, between countries. Adhering to military pacts or commercial conventions does not directly concern the people who are dragged along by often monstrous determinisms. On the […]


Reproduction of an unpublished text, translated: To be sensitive to the luminous phenomena, mainly natural: lightning, clouds, fires, sparkling sea, sky, volcanoes, … To be much less sensitive to the luminous games of the films even abstract, to the decorations of theater, of opera. To prefer natural spectacles outside of man. To prefer the vertigo […]

Polytope of Mexico

Xenakis has always been fascinated by pre-Hispanic culture, such as the Incas and Aztecs. The opportunity to work on a project in Latin America arose during his conference at the National University of Mexico in 1978. Listening to the music of the last two Polytopes (Mycènes Alpha and La Légende d’Eer) that Xenakis played during […]

Diatope (Polytope de Beaubourg)

For the inauguration of the Georges Pompidou Center in 1978, its president Robert Bordaz commissioned Xenakis to create a new Polytope. The ambitions of the composer are huge: he wants to link the monuments of Paris and the new center by an immense network of lasers by diffusing music by the warning sirens of the […]

Polytope de Mycènes

Being his first work created in Greece, in this high place of the ancient culture, The Polytope of Mycenae will keep a special place in the artist’s universe. Xenakis conceived it after having obtained amnesty, thanks to Constantin Karamanlis, in 1974. It is a return to his native country, after 27 years of exile. A […]

Polytope d’Athènes

The last proposal for a new Polytope in Athens will symbolically close this great creative journey. In 1984, at the initiative of the Greek Minister of Culture Melina Merkouri, the member states of the European Union adopted the idea of “Cultural Capital of Europe” and the first edition took place in Athens the following year. […]