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, selection which was made by the scientific committee after the symposium.

Makis Solomos, Anastasia Georgaki, Giorgos Zervos

October 2006


PAPERS (alphabetical order)


Christina Anagnostopoulou, Chris Share, Darrell Conklin: “Xenakis’s Keren (1986): A computational semiotic analysis”
Antonios Antonopoulos: “The ontological-cosmological positions of Xenakis in Formalized Music
Anne-Sylvie Barthel-Calvet: “La notion de vitesse chez Xenakis”
Séverine Bridoux-Michel: “Sur Concret PH (1958)”
Pierre Couprie: “Une analyse détaillée de Bohor (1962)”
Agostino Di Scipio: “Formalisation and intuition in Analogique A/B (1958-59)”
Dimitrios Exarchos: “Inside/Outside-Time: Metabolae in Xenakis’s Tetora
Rudolf Frisius: “Aspects of phenomenological analysis in the music of Xenakis”
Anastasia Georgaki: “The impact of Xenakis technological thought in ourdays computer music currents”
Benoît Gibson: “Self-Borrowing in the Instrumental Music of Iannis Xenakis”
James Harley: “The Creative Compositional Legacy of Xenakis”
Boris Hofmann: “Aspects spatiaux dans les œuvres instrumentales de Xenakis ”
Mihu Iliescu: “Glissandi et traces : une étude des rapports entre le musical et l’extramusical”
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”
Sander van Maas: “Subjectivity in Xenakis: Intensity, Grain, Fold”
Kostas Paparrigopoulos: “Western and Eastern approach of chance in the music of Xenakis and Cage. Theses and contra-theses”
Helena Santana, Rosario Santana: “Persephassa (1969) – renaissance, personnification et transmutation d’une idée”
Stephan Schaub: “Akrata (1964 –1965) pour orchestre à vents de Xenakis: Analyses”
Benny Sluchin: “Linaia-Agon (1972). Vers une interprétation basée sur la théorie”
Makis Solomos: “Cellular automata in Xenakis’s music. Theory and practice”
Ronald Squibbs: “The Composer’s Flair: Achorripsis as Music”
Markos Tsetsos: “Causality and freedom in Xenakis. A critical examination”
Costas Tsougras: “An analysis of Pour la Paix (1981) for a cappella mixed choir by Xenakis”
Charles W. Turner: “Iannis Xenakis’s ‘Vers une métamusique’:  The Social Context of a Musical Theory”

Evaggelia Vagopoulou: “On Oresteia (1965-66)”

Giorgos Zervos: “Musical material and originality in Xenakis’s music”


International Symposium Iannis Xenakis, Athens, May 2005 - Definitive proceedings

Last update:Tue, Nov 27, 2007