Friday 7 December 2007

Iannis Xenakis - La Légende d' Eer (1977)



La Légende d'Eer (1977-78) (47:04)
Electroacoustic Work for 7-channel tape

"La légende d'Eer is a powerful 7-channel electro-acoustic composition which Xenakis created in 1977-78 to be played in "Le Diatope", a curvaceous architectural construction designed by the composer, together with a visual component including laser lights. This "multi-media" work was composed for the opening of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where it was performed for three months and seen by thousands of people." in mode records website.



"Iannis Xenakis produced "La Légende d'Eer" in 1977 to celebrate the opening of the Pompidou Centre, that temple of the modern arts located on Beauborg Square in Paris. The 46-minute electronic work moves through a number of soundscapes. First there is soft ambience like one of Kaija Saariaho's "musical environments" (e.g. "Cloud Music", on a Petals disc). There is powerful fluttering designed by Xenakis for maximum impact on the ear, sweeping glissandos, sounds compressed down to a whistle and then expanded again. Whatever possibilities electronic means provide, Xenakis has used them. And yet, it's a much more accessible work than one would expect from the violent composer of "Metastasis" and "Nomos Alpha". Knowing that his piece was going to be played for a large Parisian audience, many of whom certainly didn't care about art music, sheer beauty seemed to be his overriding concern. But reading the booklet, with its description of Xenakis' design for the performance, really made me feel down. As Xenakis was an architect, he came up with a set that would truly complement the music: hundreds of mirrors, coloured lights, lasers. What a glorious experience it must have been to stand in the space and hear the music accompanied by such visuals. Indeed, the texts Xenakis put together to introduce the piece, by Plato (his "Legend of Er" from The Republic), Jean-Paul Richter, Pascal, and an astrophysicist writing on supernovas, mainly describe metaphysical experiences involving heavenly lights, multicoloured and infinite. It's quite remarkable how Xenakis, an atheist like much of the Darmstadt generation, was nonetheless intrigued by the idea of transcendence and the immortality of the soul. And yet, by just listening to this stereo audio recording, we miss out on the half of what Xenakis intended. [...] At least if you get MODE DVD which has the piece in surround sound, you get some of the spatial effects of this eight-track work."
by Christopher Culver

"[...] one of the most extreme electroacoustic music pieces ever produced in contemporary music. Our deepest respect to Iannis Xenakis, he lives eternally in his great music. "
by L. Vanessa

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link@256

Also check comments for Grasprelease's share of a new mix for Eer. Many thanks for this.

6 comments:

grasprelease said...

Hope you don't mind me dropping a holiday gift here, jardim, but here is the "newer" mix of LA LEGENDE released by Mode Records (mix realized by Gerard Pape). I ripped it from disc to lossless:

LA LéGENDE D'EER
(reissued as Mode 148 in 2005, as distinct from previous Montaigne version)
http://rapidshare.com/files/46657612/Xenakis_Legende.part1.RAR
http://rapidshare.com/files/46495574/Xenakis_Legende.part2.RAR
http://rapidshare.com/files/46363834/Xenakis_Legende.part3.RAR
http://rapidshare.com/files/46362616/Xenakis_Legende.part4.RAR
(ripped from disc to Apple Lossless)

1. La Légende d'Eer (1977-78) (47:04)
Electroacoustic Work for 7-channel tape
New stereo mix from the original master tape master tapes by Gerard Pape

Label hype:
La légende d'Eer is a powerful 7-channel electro-acoustic composition which Xenakis created in 1977-78 to be played in "Le Diatope", a curvaceous architectural construction designed by the composer, together with a visual component including laser lights. This "multi-media" work was composed for the opening of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where it was performed for three months and seen by thousands of people.
* The sound materials of a La légende d'Eer stem from three sources: instrumental sounds, noises, and electronically generated sounds. The work suggests an initial departure, a journey, and a final return. Xenakis surrounds the work with a compilation of five texts, reflecting or reacting upon each other across the distances in time, space, and culture which separate them.
* This new stereo mix was created by Gerard Pape - director of Xenakis' CCMIX studio in Paris - from the original analog master tape.
* The analog master was transferred at high-resolution 96khz/24-bit sound for the optimum quality, revealing details not heard in the previous stereo CD release (now deleted).
* Use of the original master tape restored almost 2 minutes and 30 seconds to the piece, released here for the first time.

(Mode also issued a DVD version with footage of the original ongoing performance at Centre Pompidou, though not all three months of it, to the chagrin of the completists)

bravo juju said...

Thanks for your post!
In fact we knew about Mode's stereo remix and DVD, but haven't grasped or heard it until now!

So it's with great pleasure that we thank you for this fantastic gift, a new perspective upon on of the most impressive and extreme electroacoustic music pieces ever composed!!
We look forward to listen to this new mix!

Danke Sehr :-)

Happy New Year!


Best Regards;

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much to both of you for this!
Jim

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