Studio LABOUR present a programme of electronic music inspired by Xenakis

29.06.2023, 20.00-23.30

Studio LABOUR present a programme of contemporary electronic music, inspired by the works of Iannis Xenakis, including electronic works by the composer himself.

For the occasion of the opening of the Iannis Xenakis exhibitions at EMΣT | National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens, Studio LABOUR present a musical program that highlights the continuing legacy of Iannis Xenakis in contemporary electronic music. Situated on the Museum’s rooftop terrace overlooking Athens, the evening begins at dusk with a selection of electronic works by Xenakis, diffused by Xenakian scholar Sergio Luque. The programme then continues with sonic artists dealing directly with Xenakian themes, such as stochastic synthesis and sieve theory, developing into a festive evening with leading sonic adventurers, thus highlighting the continuing contemporariness of the composer today.

Studio LABOUR is an operation by Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander, the Berlin based duo LABOUR who create works based on sound. In November 2022, they co-curated the centenary celebration of Xenakis’ work at Kraftwerk Berlin together with Berlin Atonal.

Line Up

Sergio Luque diffuses electronic works by Iannis Xenakis:
Diamorphoses | Concret PH | Mycenae Alpha | GENDY3

Sergio Luque presents his own composition based on stochastic synthesis titled Daisy


LABOUR  present a duo adaptation of their piece, sungazing (2022)

Rashad Becker

JASSS b2b Juliana Huxtable


Diamorphoses (1957) is the first tape piece by Xenakis, created while he was at Groupe de Recherches de Musique Concréte (GRM) in Paris.  In this compositional exploration of density – with the dialectical title translating to “continuity-discontinuity” or “two aspects of being” – sustained sounds juxtapose discontinuous ones: Xenakis used glissandi, bells and low frequency sounds such as jets, trains and an earthquake to create a layered and complex tape composition, using probabilities to calculate the attacks of individual sounds. (James Harley, Xenakis: His Life in Music, 2004).

Concret PH (1958) This miniature jewel of electroacoustic music by Xenakis is a study of density that uses tape manipulation techniques to create an ongoing and subtly-evolving texture made from recordings of burning charcoal. At its premiere, this short piece was projected over 425 loudspeakers at the entrance to the Philips Pavilion before Varèse’s Poème électronique. Xenakis designed the Pavillion while working with Le Corbusier. Concret PH is diffused by Sergio Luque at EMST.

Mycenae Alpha (1978) was created exclusively with the UPIC system, a graphical tool for the composition of music developed by Xenakis and his team at CEMAMu in Paris. This noisy and dense electroacoustic composition was first presented at the Mycenae Acropolis in Greece. The music, diffused at EMΣT by Sergio Luque, is harsh in nature, “matching the landscape and myths that permeated the atmosphere of the Acropolis” (James Harley, Xenakis: His Life in Music, 2004).

GENDY3 (1991) by Iannis Xenakis was created using the GENDY and PARAG programs, written by the composer on a personal computer in the BASIC programming language. With these programs, he was able to synthesize sonic waveforms based on stochastic functions and create macro-compositional structures using stochastic methods similar to the ones he implemented in the ST program (1962) for instrumental composition. The sounds tend to be more unified and less noisy than in his previous pieces with an emphasis on more sustained sounds. GENDY3 is diffused by Sergio Luque at EMST.