An Interview with Iannis Xenakis: By Norma Beecroft

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Iannis Xenakis
May 29, 1922 – February 4, 2001

Interviewed by Norma Beecroft as part of her ebook, Conversations With Post World War II Pioneers of Electronic Music.
Recorded on audio cassette.
Digital transfer and editing: William Van Ree

Engineer, architect, inventor, author and composer, Iannis Xenakis was one of the most distinguished musical minds of the 20th Century. Imprisoned in Greece during the Second World War for his political views and activism, he escaped to France in 1947 where he was hired by the renowned architect Le Corbusier and where he pursued his avid interest in composition. He was finally recognized by his adopted country as Knight in the French Legion of Honour in 1982, and was the recipient of numerous scientific and musical awards from many countries solidifying his position as a unique voice in contemporary music.

His work with stochastic processes and architectural structures as well as in computer composition, and his writings on his compositional approaches caused scandals on some occasions, but more importantly, a steadily increasing respect for what were plainly new and exciting directions in music. A frequent visitor to Canada, it was a pleasure and honour to talk to this amazing, honest gentleman.

You can read the transcript of the interview, along with interviews of 22 other electroacoustic composers, by purchasing the ebook here.