From Xenakis's UPIC to Graphic Notation Today
On the legacy of Xenakis’ innovations in music notation for contemporary composers
Published by Hatje Cantz.
Edited by Peter Weibel, Ludger Brümmer, Sharon Kanach. Text 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.
Trained in mechanical engineering, Greek-French composer Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) transformed mathematical models into architectonic musical entities.
In the late 1970s Xenakis developed a digital apparatus that rendered waveforms drawn on a tablet as musical compositions. The device was called UPIC, or Unité Polyagogique Informatique du CEMAMu, named for the French contemporary music research institute that Xenakis had helped found a decade earlier. The device proved to be an essential tool for the development of contemporary music—a version of the software is still used by today’s composers.
Featuring archival materials, this book examines the origins of Xenakis’ UPIC. It also serves as a compositional tool: embedded QR codes allow readers to create their own sound-images from UPIC compositions.