[ 25. September 2010 ]

LOS ANGELES – Xenakis: Persepolis LA 6.11.2010

From: CIX D.Teige
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2010 10:50 AM

persepolis la / xenakis

LOS ANGELES, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010– A dramatic multi-media event based on the
1971 sound-and-light spectacle by widely influential composer Iannis Xenakis
will take place near the heart of Los Angeles at dusk. At State Historic
Park on Saturday, November 6, 2010, 6PM, Persepolis LA, will become the
first “recreation” ever of Xenakis’ legendary Polytope de Persepolis,
originally staged in the skeletal remains of ancient ruins in the remote
Persian desert. It will launch several months of events in Southern
California dedicated to the Greek musician and architect, who lived in
France until his death in 2001.

Conceived as the opening event of the controversial 1971 Shiraz Festival in
Iran, Polytope de Persepolis’s electronic score has become a classic within
contemporary music. It comprised some 48 loudspeakers and included such
arresting elements as lasers beamed into the night sky, searchlight
projections onto the crumbling palace, bonfires, and a procession of
children bearing fire-lit torches.

Adapted and re-staged in Los Angeles by Daniel Teige, German sound artist
and Xenakis electronic music expert, Persepolis LA will–as the original
did–involve six listening stations with eight speakers each and encompass
over 70,000 square feet of performance area within the 32-acre park.

At the heart of the 60-minute open-air spectacle will be the eight-track
tape-music composition, recently restored. Based on historical documents
from the Xenakis Archives and created uniquely for this Los Angeles
performance, this recreation will involve computer-generated visual
choreography complete with laser beams, searchlights, and several bonfires
by Embrace the Void Design. As was the case with its World Premiere at the
Temple of Darius, the event will open with Xenakis’ first electronic work,
Diamorphoses (1957), as a “geological prelude.”

“We are thrilled that we could organize this historic reenactment,” remarks
critic Carey Lovelace, co-curator of the exhibit Iannis Xenakis: Composer,
Architect, Visionary running co-currently at the Los Angeles Museum of
Contemporary Art, which is co-producing. Concurs co-curator Sharon Kanach, a
noted new music scholar and director of the Xenakis Project of the Americas:
“The revolutionary ‘polytopes,’ Xenakis’ site-specific multi-media works,
are an unparalleled fusion of architecture, music, and light. They pioneer
what one might call ‘musical land art.’ Nearly 40 years later, this is the
first time one will be recreated anywhere in the world.”

Xenakis, born in 1922, was known for radical experiments, often involving
mathematics or architectural paradigms, which helped change the complexion
of contemporary music. As was true with the original Polytope de
Persepolis, the audience will be invited to walk around the grassy expanse
of the State Historic Park while the piece is in progress to experience
sound and visuals “spatially,” from different vantage points. (No seating
will be provided.)

Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary originated Spring, 2010, at
The Drawing Center in New York City. It was on view at the Canadian Centre
for Architecture in Montreal from June 17 – October 17, 2010, and will run
from November 7, 2010 – February 4, 2011, at MoCA’s Pacific Design Center.
It will travel to several venues in Europe in 2011, where tributes to
Xenakis will commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death.

Admission is free. Note: Persepolis LA will involve high volume levels.
(Earplugs will be provided for children…and others.)

“Persepolis is neither a theatrical spectacle, nor a ballet, nor a
Happening. It is visual symbolism, parallel to and dominated by sound. The
sound –the music– must absolutely prevail.” Iannis Xenakis,1971