Polytope XXI is a tribute concert to Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001), architect, engineer and composer, who wrote some of the most significant works for percussion of the 21st century. It is also the name that composers Myriam Boucher and Dominic Thibault have given to their project of a monumental instrument, a sort of giant audio-luminous harp augmented by electroacoustics.
This project was inspired by the first Polytope by composer Iannis Xenakis, “an electronic sculpture that combines light, music and structure”, which was presented inside the French Pavilion during Expo 67. The installation took the form of a giant spider’s web made up of a set of cables installed in the void in the central space of the pavilion, with a multitude of luminous points that appeared and disappeared according to a sound track. The project stemmed from a scientific vision, accompanied by an architectural and musical vision: a union of science and art.
Our re-imagined polytope will consist of a large self-supporting structure of lighted cables, much like a giant harp, through which percussionists will move to strike, rub and pluck the cable strings. Vibration-capturing piezoelectric microphones will amplify the sound of the instrument and help control the digital audio effects and the audio-reactive light system.
The second part of the concert will be dedicated to the monumental Pleiades for 6 percussion instruments, which was on the program of Sixtrum’s very first concert and which will close the fifteenth season of the Montreal-based ensemble.
With the support of CIRMMT – Agile Seed Funding.
This concert is part of the international program of the META-XENAKIS symposium, a two-day (41 hours) marathon event celebrating the centenary of the composer Iannis Xenakis. The various events will take place in the fall of 2022, starting in France (Rouen) before moving on to the USA (New York), Greece (Athens), Japan (Nagoya) and Mexico (Mexico City). For more information, please visit the SYMPOSIUM page and the page dedicated to the CALL FOR PROJECTS.
ABOUT META-XENAKIS CONSORTIUM
Our collective organization, spanning five countries and three continents, was founded by former students, collaborators and admirers of Iannis Xenakis. Our common goal is to create a transcontinental celebration of the life and work of composer Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001). The main partners are working in collaboration with other local artists and institutions to celebrate not only the man and his work but also his artistic and philosophical legacy that has left an indelible mark on the arts of the 21st century. All these actors organize exhibitions, workshops, concerts, public readings, master classes, calls for projects and composition competitions.
Sixtrum's recipe: put on a great show without sacrificing the quality of the music.
Sixtrum has the drive, the complicity and the expertise...
As much at ease with subtlety as with sheer force...
Dominic Thibault, Myriam Boucher | Polytope XXI (creation 2022)
Iannis Xenakis | Pléiades (1978)