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(avant-garde composer) Iannis Xenakis exhibit at Drawing Center + related shows (JACK Quartet, So Percussion, more)

by Andrew Frisicano

IX. 17 – Study for Terretektorh (distribution of musicians), 1965
Iannis Xenakis

Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary will explore the fundamental role of drawing in the work of Greek avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001). A leading figure in twentieth century music, Xenakis was trained as a civil engineer, then became an architect and developed revolutionary designs while working with Le Corbusier. Comprised of nearly 100 documents created between 1953 and 1984, this will be the first North American exhibition dedicated to Xenakis’s original works on paper. Included will be rarely-seen hand-rendered scores, architectural drawings, conceptual renderings, pre-compositional sketches, and graphic scores. Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary is co-curated by Xenakis scholar Sharon Kanach and critic Carey Lovelace and will travel to the Canadian Centre for Architecture (June 17 – October 17, 2010) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (November 7, 2010 – February 13, 2011).

The show is currently at the NYC Drawing Center through April 8th. That picture above is a diagram for an 88-member orchestra scattered among its audience (aka the squiggly lines). More works on display are below.

There are also concerts and events to go along with exhibit. JACK Quartet, who put out a CD and DVD of Xenakis’s string quartets last May, already played in conjunction with showing earlier this month (videos from their DVD are below). JACK do have shows coming up, but those are mainly comprised of new material; they play March 3rd at Merkin Concert Hall. Their upcoming schedule also includes the Look & Listen Festival 2010 (coming up May 7th-9th); So Percussion are on the bill for that too, playing music by Morton Feldman, John Cage, and their own Jason Treuting (So Percussion are also at Carnegie Hall this March). Advance tickets for Look & Listen are available by phone.

If you’d like to learn more about the Xenakis show, co-curators Sharon Kanach and Carey Lovelace, who both worked with the composer, discussed the show with Art International Radio – that’s streaming.

More drawings, videos, and Drawing Center info and events are below…

IX.11 – Study for Polytope de Montréal (light score), c. 1966
Iannis Xenakis

IX.18 – Study for Terretektorh, c. 1965-66
Iannis Xenakis

IX.52 – Iannis Xenakis, c. 1995
Iannis Xenakis

Iannis Xenakis – Metastasis (Spectral View)

Drawing Cener location & hours
35 Wooster Street, New York, NY (map)
Gallery Hours: Wednesday, 12 – 6 PM; Thursday, 12 – 8 PM; Friday – Sunday, 12 – 6 PM (Closed Monday and Tuesday)

Xenakis: Past, Present, Future events
Daniel Teige performs Iannis Xenakis February 13, 20, 27; 2-8pm
Persepolis, Polytope de Cluny, Hibiki Hana Ma, Légende d’Eer, Bohor
Diapason Gallery
Diapason Gallery will feature an overview of Xenakis’s tape pieces in a multichannel
environment. On February 6th, 2010, German sound artist Daniel Teige will
perform an extended concert featuring a selection of these works adapted to the
architecture and acoustics of Diapason Gallery. The result of this concert will be
recorded and played as a sound installation in the gallery during the entire month of
February (2/13, 2/20 & 2/27).

Xenakis and Friends
Frederick Loewe Theatre at NYU
Monday February 15, 8:00 PM
Iannis Xenakis: Voyage absolu des Unari vers Andromède and music by Robert Rowe, Cort Lippe, Joel Chadabe, and Morton Subotnick..

IX: The Percussion Music – Concert and Panel Discussion
Frederick Loewe Theatre – NYU
Sunday February 21, 3:00 PM
A panel discussion with Q&A, followed by a performance of Xenakis compositions, Rebonds A, Psappha, Okho, Persephassa, and Rebonds B, will feature the NYU Percussion Ensemble, Jonathan Haas Conductor/Director. The panel will include the concert’s performers and will be moderated by Jan Williams.

Xenakis and Japan
Judson Church
Sunday February 28, 8:00 PM
A dance and music event featuring music by Iannis Xenakis; concept, choreography, stage design, and costumes by Luca Veggetti; and lighting design by Roderick Murray. The evening highlights Iannis Xenakis’s lifelong interest in Japanese culture, particularly its music and theater.

SoHo Night Exhibition walk-through
The Drawing Center
Thursday March 4, 6:30 PM
For SoHo Night, please join Carey Lovelace, Co-curator of Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary and Nina Katchadourian, Curator of Selections Spring 2010: Sea Marks for a walk-through of each exhibition.

French Transmission
Elebash Hall at the Graduate Center of City University of New York
Tuesday March 16, 7:00 PM
The American debut performance of the critically acclaimed Montreal-based ensemble Transmission, will feature works by Xenakis, Vivier, Aperghis, Murail, Boulez. A lecture-presentation on “Xenakis in Canada” by James Harley, author of Xenakis: His Life in Music will precede the concert. This evening is co-sponsored by the Xenakis Project of the Americas, EMF, and CALQ (Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec).

Film Screening @ 92YTribeca
Wednesday March 24, 7:00 PM
7pm: Opening remarks by Co-curator Carey Lovelace before a screening of Something Rich and Strange (1970, London (BBC), Mark Kidel), a documentary about the life of Iannis Xenakis, followed by Orient-Occident: Images d’une Exposition (1960, Greece, Enrico Fulchignoni), a film commissioned by UNESCO that uses the sounds of bowed boxes, bells and metal rods, sounds from the ionosphere, and a speed-altered excerpt from Xenakis’s orchestral work Pithoprakta.
9pm: Charisma X – Iannis Xenakis (2009, Greece, Efi Xirou), a documentary featuring interviews, musical compositions, architectural creations, and archive material, followed by La Légende d’Eer (1977-78, France, Gerard Pape), a powerful 7-channel electro-acoustic composition by Xenakis accompanied by a slideshow rendering of Xenakis’s Diatope, an autonomous architectural structure created for the opening of the Pompidou Center in Paris.

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