Iannis Xenakis, one of the twentieth century’s most venturesome musical practioners, is to have a handful of vintage works collected by Editions Mego.
GRM Works 1957-1962 collects material recorded during the Greek composer and architect’s stint with Pierre Schaeffer’s highly influential Groupe de Recherches Musicales, a mid 20th century lodestone for electro-acousic composers and avant-garde musical operators. The four-track album, curated by GRM maintays François Bonnet & Christian Zanési, arrives on Mego’s Recollection GRM sub-label, which has been rifling through the collective’s archives since early last year.
The four works on the disc were recorded between 1958 and 1962. 1958’s ‘Concret PH’ was written to be played inside the spectacular Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair, which Xenakis helped design (and subsequently took inspiration from in his major work Metastaseis). 1957-9’s ‘Diamorphoses’ tinkers around with “continutous variations of average or “statistical” heights”, and 1960’s ‘Orient-Occident’ was commissioned for an Enrico Fulchignoni film for UNESCO. 1962’s King Arthur-inspired ‘Bohor’ (dedicated to Schaeffer) is the latest of the pieces, with a 1968 recording making the cut.
The label note that all four works “undoubtedly demonstrate the experimental intent and the strictly “physical” character of Xenakis’ music, in that it provides the audience with a listening experience of a rare intensity”. The release is executive produced by Mego boss Peter Rehberg, and arrives with design work from Stephen O’ Malley.
GRM Works 1957-1962 is due on March 11.
1.1. Concret PH (2:41)
1.2. Orient-Occident (11:10)
1.3. Diamorphoses (6:55)
2.1. Bohor (21:50)