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28 Pages

Metabolae, Arborescences and the Reconstruction of Time in Iannis Xenakis' Psappha

Metabolae, Arborescences and the Reconstruction of Time in Iannis Xenakis' Psappha Ellen Rennie Flint Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, USA

Following his earliest investigations of probability theory as a means of manipulating large sound masses and disposing single sonic events in a continuum, Iannis Xenakis sought to formulate an all-encompassing theory of music that would conform to the principles of formal (symbolic) logic and define "the mental operations used in composition ." (Xenakis , 1971, ISS) Toward this end, Xenakis became determined to "formalize " the act of musical composition by focusing on the logical processes underlying the creative act, processes that could be expressed in the universal language of logic - mathematics.