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Xenakis: La Légende d'Eer

Album Summary

>Xenakis, Iannis : La Legende d'Eer, for 8-channel tape
Performer Composer
Notes & Reviews:

"Music is not a language. Any musical piece is akin to a boulder with complex forms, with striations and engraved designs atop and within, which men can decipher in a thousand different ways without ever finding the right answer or the best one," wrote Iannis Xenakis in his introductory notes to the performance of his sound-light Diatope installation at Paris's Pompidou Centre in 1978, for which he composed the seven-channel tape work La Légende d'Eer (after Plato). It's hardly surprising that Xenakis should compare music to a boulder: he was first and foremost an architect, and the formal aspects of huge sprawling electronic works like Persepolis and La Légende d'Eer were worked out in meticulous detail and are as solid as a Gothic cathedral. This extraordinary sonic universe of thumb pianos, Jew's harps, Japanese drums, and bricks banged and rubbed against each other is as impressive as it is expressive, but what makes the 45-plus-minute span of music so effective is the composer's unerring precision in combining concrete elements with his own computer-assisted electronic music in a superbly proportioned and aesthetically satisfying formal design. There's plenty of additional information to be had, both in the accompanying booklet and on the DVD version, which includes Bruno Rastoin's striking archive photographs of the original Diatope extravaganza and an entertaining if rather woolly chat between Xenakis and Harry Halbreich, but it's the music that matters most. ~ Dan Warburton


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Works Details

>Xenakis, Iannis : La Legende d'Eer, for 8-channel tape
  • Performer: Iannis Xenakis (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 47 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1977
  • Studio/Live: Studio