Iannis Xenakis Documents, Writing, Notation & Music

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“Iannis Xenakis (Greek: Ιωάννης Ξενάκης) (May 29, 1922 – February 4, 2001) was Romanian-born Greek modernist composer, musical theoretician, and architect. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential composers of the twentieth century. His music theory book, Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition, is regarded as one of the most important theoretical works of 20th century music.”

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Iannis Xenakis’s Achorripsis – The Matrix Game

Achorripsis is introduced by Xenakis as an example of a work composed with a minimum of constraints according to the stochastic process.

The matrix (patch new_base) has its frequencies distributed according to the poisson’s formula, described as the law for the appearances of rare random events.

In dealing with chance, one accepts the idea of a transformational environment (“chance (…) is nothing but an extreme case of controlled disorder”, Formalized Music, pg. 25). In this work, chance is taken as the regulator element, considered as building the philosophic and aesthetic concept. The stochastic laws
here need to establish this “new region of coherence”.