From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today

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From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today

Ed. ZKM Hertz-Labor (Peter Weibel, Ludger Brümmer, Sharon Kanach), text(s) by Richard Barrett, Rodolphe Bourotte, Pierre Couprie, Cyrille Delhaye, Alain Després, Julio Estrada, Rudolf Frisius, Kiyoshi Furukawa, Hugues Genevois, Kosmas Giannoutakis, Dimitris Kamarotos, Henning Lohner, Francois-Bernard Mâche, Guy Médigue, Chikashi Miyama, Lukas Nowok, Gerard Pape, Marcin Pietruszewski, Brigitte Robindoré, Julia Rommel, Julian Scordato, Takehito Shimazu, Victoria Simon, Andrei Smirnov, Ronald Squibbs, Katerina Tsioukra, graphic design by Uta Kopp

English

2020. 672 pp., 240 ills.

hardcover

14.80 x 21.00 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4741-7

Future Compositions

UPIC stands for Unité Polyagogique Informatique du CEMAMu. Despite the seeming technicality of this name, this apparatus is magic. Here, it is about nothing less than the translation of visuality, in the form of drawing, into musical compositions. The digital miracle machine was invented in the late 1970s by the composer Iannis Xenakis. Its value as a musical instrument is exceeded by its historical signifi cance, for it is the origin of a system of graphic notation that can hardly be separated from contemporary music today. This publication pursues his trailblazing story. Through a wealth of textual and visual materials, the book shows the ingenious beginnings of the UPIC, along with the techniques of notation that arose from it. Readers themselves can use QR codes to create a sound-image from UPIC compositions.

IANNIS XENAKIS (1922–2001) can be described as a “sound architect.” Before the composer devoted himself to music, he completed his engineering studies in Athens. It is therefore no wonder that mathematical, geometrical, and architectural principles are the foundations of many of his pieces.

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