Pape, Gerard


Iannis Xenakis and the 'Real' of Musical Composition

Computer Music Journal: Vol. 26, no. 1. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: 16-21.


Language(s): English


Aural Analysis Computer Music


This article profiles composer Iannis Xenakis. It discusses how Xenakis influenced the author, in particular, his position and views concerning the responsibility of composers to be free, the composer’s ego and the ‘Real’. The author describes the composer’s ‘Real’ as something that is distinguished from "reality". Reality is perfectly able to be represented as the sum of commonly held beliefs about what is "true" about the world. The composer’s ‘Real’ is not a shared common reality; there is a unique ‘Real’ for each subject, it is the sum total effect of all of one’s formative experiences, verbal and non-verbal. The author suggests that Xenakis’s music tries to evoke the ‘Real’ of his own subjective experience, drawing highly on past experiences, traumatic and non-traumatic. The article also briefly discusses Xenakis’s GENDY program and his works Gendy3 and S.709.

All references of the same author:


Pape, Gerard (2004). Varèse the Visionary