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XENAKIS-DAY: Xenakis and the Greek spirit

XENAKIS-DAY: Xenakis and the Greek spirit

Structure and knowledge in architecture and music
16:15 - 17:15
Multimedia Library & Club
Program series
House of Music Hungary production

XENAKIS-DAY: Xenakis and the Greek spirit

Exactly 150 years ago, a young and classics-minded Nietzsche sug- gested that all of our aesthetic and conceptual structures arise from the spirit of Greek tragedy and, in turn, that of music. Even before that, it became a commonplace of conventional (scientific) historiography that modern European thinking can be derived from the rationalistic attitude of the ancient (Attican) Greeks. However, we often feel that everything has changed around us since then. The Expo 58 in Brussels saw the rebirth of Europe from the ruins of the war materialized in two buildings, both essentially being monuments to celebrate a new man: the Atomium stands for man discovering the secrets of nature, the Philips pavilion (designed by Xenakis) for man creating new secrets. But what is com- mon in them is the euphory of structure: Xenakis himself has derived his world-famous hyperbolic paraboloid from his own composition (the con- genious Metastaseis) - from its structure in particular. The transdiscipli- nary experience thus created does not only constitute a milestone in aesthetics and engineering: it is a paradigm of a new age (further elabo- rated upon by Xenakis in his Polytopes, also inspired mathematics and antiquity). Later on, he also revisited the birth of tragedy, his 1987 Kas- sandra can be interpreted as an investigation on what is left of dialectics after structures seem to slowly evaporate - after architecture ceased to be 'frozen music', and became the vessel for the spirit of dynamics and dialectics, floating along the musical stream. The conversation is orga- nized around some key points of the œuvre of Xenakis, however, its aim is much more ambitious: understanding the origin of the work of art aris- ing from the spirit of structure and rationalism. Participants: Kulcsár Géza, researcher, writer, Urbanum & MOME Bali János, musicologist, musician, mathematician, PPKE Szentpéteri Márton, researcher in design culture, MOME Takács Ákos, speculative architecture, MOME

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