Iannis Xenakis - Persepolis
In 1971, Iannis Xenakis, already a name amongst names within the classical avant-garde community, embarked upon what became his most audacious performance piece. Premiering In Iran, this multimedia performance included highly intricate lighting projections, laser beams, torch-brandishing children, and 59 loudspeakers projecting the music into the open air. But what about the music? The music, is what we are here to talk about. The piece, entitled Persepolis: We Bear The Light Of The Earth, is a 52-minute, mind bending, front row seat to complete sensory overload in the best sense of the term. It is a highly temperamental, feral, yet rewarding aural experience. If you took 6 of the most dissonant and unyielding Sun Ra records, played them simultaneously at maximum volume at a Swans concert, you would be getting close to the sound of this record. As far as the Xenakis repertoire is concerned, this is easily the most organic and visceral recording I have come across. As a major player within the world of electro-acoustic music, a genre largely dependent on post production, most of Xenakis’ defining works or pieces that I am familiar with fall within these parameters. Not Persepolis. The sounds you are hearing were simply captured in real time as they were performed, and any modifications of those sounds were purely for the sake of continuity. All the edits were done in the name of composition as opposed to experimentation. This is symphonic, portentous, elemental dissonance of the highest grade. (Adam)
Check out a track here.