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DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2014/B41/S14.030

BETWEEN INTUITION AND SCIENCE: SOME EXAMPLES OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC BY IANNIS XENAKIS

J. H. Jakubowska
Saturday 1 November 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2014, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-30-8/ ISSN 2367-5659, September 1-9, 2014, Book 4, Vol. 1, 257-264 pp

ABSTRACT
Every musical style can be characterized by means of probabilistic restrictions imposed upon structures as well as mutual relations between those structures and the mental representation of musical surfaces formed on their basis by listeners. In music, narratives generally result from a culturally embedded musical language that has been established over the course of centuries. There seem to be two factors that contributed to specific way that Xenakis understood music – the free play of the imagination directly related to intuition and the conviction that the creative process has a scientistic aspect. An approach to music like that seems to entail that: 1. musical time is a series of moments, each of which has its own value, irrespective of what follows a given moment or what consequences it allows to predict; and 2. musical structure cannot be a product of some accepted convention or tradition, but it must emerge from within the structure of the sound material itself and from the way the sound material is used in a particular musical work. But in electronic music has been introduced an entirely new vocabulary of sounds. Organization of electronic music, extending beyond the well-known structures of a traditional musical language, induces listener’s cognitive problem [1]. The purpose of the investigation is to recognize how adequate the adopted Xenakis’ strategy can be with respect to the artist’s initial idea concerning the organization of the macro-form of the electronic work and of its musical surface perceived by listeners, and also how the nature of electronic music provides a different form of communication between the composer and the listener. The main method is a comparison of the philosophical and methodological foundations of Xenakis’ selected electronic works to the automated analysis of their realizations. Results of these comparisons allowed to establish that the creation phases referred to by the composer’s point to two principally distinct kinds of the creative process. Detailed studies of musical works and analyses of the composer’s opinions concerning the same works show the general conclusion – the intellectual and extra-intellectual factors complement one another in various proportions.

Keywords: Iannis Xenakis, creative process, cognition, electronic music, MIR