Iannis Xenakis / May 29, 1922 - Feb 4, 2001

Happy birthday to the Greek-French composer Iannis Xenakis, he of a million ideas. From chamber ensemble to reeds to percussion to electronics, game theory, computers, orchestral and architectural, he was, in my opinion, one of the most exciting and relevant on the so-called 20th Century composers.

He took up arms against the British during the Greek civil war and had half his face blown off, losing an eye. After that he was exiled to France, as he was sentenced to death in Greece for his Communist actions. He sought to utilize his expertise in mathematics and architecture in his music and while some of his concepts are totally over-the-head of an uneducated fool like myself, there is no denying the power of his electronic music and his percussion pieces. If you want some European avant-garde sound art of the highest order, check his pieces. Much more interesting than Bach!!

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