Marking the 100th anniversary of Iannis Xenakis (1922–2001), the “X100” festival will pay tribute to the Greek-French composer and reassess the significance of his works in the world today. As both a musician and architect, Xenakis was strongly influenced by his interest in mathematical and acoustic principles, and his installation-based musical works cemented his reputation as an artist ahead of his time. For instance, Xenakis composed pieces based on the concept of the “golden ratio”, he created pure noise-music using stochastic sound synthesis, and even transplanted the entire orchestra from the stage to the middle of the audience. Today, Xanakis’ works continue to have an impact on the field of electronic music.
Numerous contemporary musicians and sound artists have adopted Xenakis’ musical impulses and continue develop his approaches, e.g. using technology to program sound swarms in space and create innovative synthesizing techniques, and also thematically, e.g. applying inundating aesthetics all the way to harsh noise. These contemporary positions will be juxtaposed with Xenakis’ music at the “X100” festival. Xenakis’ technical utopias have been musically achieved many times in the past. But what about his vision of a social utopia in which holistic acoustic and spatial experiences render social differences irrelevant and initiate a state of liberation? Xenakis never committed wholly to performing for an academic New Music audience. Instead, he chose to perform his music at unusual venues such as the beach or the hot springs. The Kraftwerk Berlin promises to be just as unique. The festival will be complemented by installation-based and performative presentations, and the visual design of the rooms will make the listening experience extraordinary. The noise-like character of Xenakis’s work will be explored by club music artists, while his compositions will be compared with their sources of inspiration. An extensive series of workshops will accompany the festival and introduce to Xenakis’s works and world of ideas.
Artistic director: Farahnaz Hatam, Colin Hacklander, Harry Glass, Laurens von Oswald
18 November, 2022 to 20 November, 2022: Festival
Berlin Atonal, Kraftwerk Berlin, Berlin