Sunday, March 29, 2009

Iannis Xenakis – La Légende d'Eer (1978)

The music of Iannis Xenakis can shuttle seamlessly between extremes: from ancient mythology to modern science, from the intensely visceral to the impossibly cerebral and from private insight to public spectacle. Few of his works spanned these poles as effectively as his landmark electro-acoustic tape piece, "La Légende d'Eer. Written for the opening of the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris in 1978, "La Légende d'Eer" is a sweeping 45-minute work that takes its title from the myth of Er as recounted in Plato's "Republic." The music is a dense futuristic assembly of materials including non-Western percussion and constructed noise, and a dizzying array of computer-generated sound derived from Xenakis's complex theories of probability. (

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