Iannis Xenakis, internationally known master of avant-garde music, lived an extraordinary life. He fought alongside the Greek National Liberation Front, a communist resistance group against the Nazi occupation of Greece during WWII. He suffered a horrendous injury after a shrapnel cost him the loss of sight in one eye. He was declared a traitor for his participation in the resistance and fled to Paris to escape the death sentence. Through all that, he excelled in engineering, mathematics and architecture as a student of mastermind Le Corbusier. Then, he defined avant-garde.
If you attempt to understand it, Xenakis’ work requires a guide. Few masters have managed to approach creation the way he did, disregarding languages, patterns and forms. His work on fusing physics, philosophy, mathematics, natural phenomena and landscapes into sound still resonates to this day as an insurmountable body of work for most artists.
In celebration of the 100th-year anniversary of his birth, the Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera takes on Xenakis’ oeuvre with an extensive programme of dance and music performances. Lila Zafiropoulou, the director of the Dance Department of the Athens Conservatory presents her choreographic approach to Xenakis’ modernist ballet score Kraanerg; distinguished soloists measure themselves against Xenakis’ virtuosic works for percussion and last but not least, Thessaloniki’s celebrated dissonArt ensemble present a programme of Xenakis’ works for chamber ensemble.