Iannis Xenakis Persepolis

Iannis Xenakis was commissioned to compose a piece of music in 1971 to honour Persepolis - an ancient ruined city in Iran founded by Cyrus the Great. The piece by Xenakis was a musique concrete work for the 2500th anniversary of the founding of Persepolis, performed amidst the ruins and echoed from various loudspeakers. Persepolis is extracted from a 56-minute, eight-track recording and remastered. What instruments Xenakis used to compose this work remains a mystery, since there are no descriptions in the liner notes. Foremost, Xenakis is known for making mathematically based, "emotionless" music, but this recording hardly qualifies as such. Rather, this piece brings to mind those tense moments in a horror film when the viewer hears sustained eerie notes, often generated by strings, just before a character is cut to ribbons. In the case of Persepolis, imagine that feeling sustained and intensified for almost an hour - spooky, yet good stuff. Accompanying this disk are several interpretations of this piece made by various artists, such as Merzbow, Ryoji Ikeda and Francisco Lopez. Most of the artists who did the remixes tended to put their own personal slant on Xenakis's material, but the most faithful rendering would be that of Otomo Yoshihide. Though Yoshihide tends to high-pitched drone, he follows the same themes that Xenakis worked with, yet the track is shorter and has more of an edge. (Asphodel)