Quotes by Iannis Xenakis

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To make music means to express human intelligence by sonic means. This is intelligence in its broadest sense, which includes not only the peregrinations of pure logic but also the "logic" of emotions and intuition. My musical techniques, although often rigorous in their internal structure, leave many openings through which the most complex and mysterious factors of the intelligence may penetrate. more...

Art, and, above all, music, has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim through fixations which are landmarks, to draw [one] towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal. more...

The musical scale is a convention which circumscribes the area of potentiality and permits construction within those limits in its own particular symmetry. more...

Music is not a language. Any musical piece is akin to a boulder with complex forms, with striations and engraved designs atop and within, which men can decipher in a thousand different ways without ever finding the right answer or the best one... more...

Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear? more...

The listener must be gripped and whether he likes it or not, drawn into the flight path of the sounds without special training being necessary. The sensual shock must be just as forceful as when one hears a clap of thunder or looks into a bottomless abyss more...

The collision of hail or rain with hard surfaces, or the song of cicadas in a summer field. These sonic events are made out of thousands of isolated sounds; this multitude of sounds, seen as totality, is a new sonic event. more...


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