From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

In the late 70s, an interdisciplinary team led by the composer Iannis Xenakis developed the compositional tool UPIC out of an effort to transform drawings into synthesized sound.

Together with the Centre Iannis Xenakis, the ZKM is now addressing for the first time the genesis of this unique computational instrument and traces its technical, social, institutional, and educational significance up to the current practice of contemporary composers who work with the idea of UPIC in current computer programs.

The volume with 27 richly illustrated contributions is published by Hatje Cantz. It is available both there and through the ZKM Bookshop as a print publication. In addition, it is published in its entirety as an open access version and available free of charge. On this page, the digital version is available for download as PDF, as well as audio samples and additional archive material not included in the print publication are accessible.

From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today

The digital version is available for download as PDF

Download

»Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«, herausgegeben von Peter Weibel, Ludger Brümmer und Sharon Kanach

»The UPIC is a revolutionary composition device; a music machine that enables sounds to be generated directly via self-designed graphic structures.«

Peter Weibel

Dimitris Kamarotos, KSYME: UPIC in Greece – ten years of living and creating with the UPIC at KSYME
Additional image material for this article from the KSYME (CMRC) ― ChouPaF Unified Archives and Dimitris Kamarotos Archive

»Music is the mother of all time-based arts and therefore plays a special role at the ZKM.«

Peter Weibel

                Audiofiles

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

The Stream

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Alfred Schnittke, 1968, 5'55'', composed with ANS Synthesizer at the Experimental Studio for Electronic Music at Skriabin Museum, Moscow, Russia, from Electroshock Records – ELCD 011 Electroacoustic Music Volume IV Archive Tapes Synthesizer ANS 1964–1971, 1999, excerpt from 3'03'' to 4'31'' © Alfred Schnittke

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Eua’on’ome

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Julio Estrada, e.16b, for orchestra, 1995, premiered and recorded with Baden-Baden Orchestra, Südwestfunk, conducted by Olaf Henzold in Donaueschingen, Germany, October 20, 1995. In Xenakis, UPIC, Continuum, Electroacoustic and Instrumental Works from CCMIX Paris, Mode 98/99, 2 CDs, Éditions Salabert, excerpt from 7'45'' to 10'44'' © juliusedimus

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Ishini’ioni

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Julio Estrada, e.19, 1990, for string quartet. In Julio Estrada. Chamber Music for Strings, Arditti String Quartet, Arditti Quartet Edition 27, Auvidis Montaigne, MO 782056, CD, digital recording by Radio France, Paris, France, excerpt from 6'30'' to 8'03'' © juliusedimus

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Canto Naciente

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Julio Estrada, e.8, 1975-78, for brass and choral section, premiered and recorded with UCSD Brass ensemble, conducted by Tom Lee at Intercon 82, Festival of Pan-American Contemporary Music, Center for Music Experiment, Music Department, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA, April 17, 1982, excerpt from 1'18'' to 2'59'' © juliusedimus

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

The Unthinkable

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Richard Barrett, 1989, 6'28'' © Richard Barrett

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Disquiet

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Richard Barrett, 2018, 26'54'', 8-channel, stereoversion © Richard Barrett

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Aulodie

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François-Bernard Mâche, 1983, for soprano saxophone, from Aulodie: Ruth Velten, CD Genuine GEN 16424, Éditions Durand, 1983, excerpt from 7'21'' to 7'53''

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Amphibian

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François-Bernard Mâche, with rhythm excerpt (39”) from Proteus, 1980, undated and unpublished, excerpt from 4'32'' to 5'09'' © François-Bernard Mâche

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Hypérion

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François-Bernard Mâche, 1981, unpublished, from Hypérion, CD Jade 015/12 19 34, excerpt from 0' to 1'58'' © François-Bernard Mâche

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Nocturne

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François-Bernard Mâche, 1981, for piano, from Nocturne: Andrew Infanti, CD Musiques sournoises, 2001, Éditions Durand, excerpt from 5'51'' to 6'42''

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Monodie IV

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Takehito Shimazu, 1992, 12'52'', for UPIC tape, excerpt from 6'45'' to 7'15'' © Takehito Shimazu

Picture of a book. The cover is white with orange lines, on it the lettering »From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today«

Monodie IV A

Monodie IV A

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Takehito Shimazu, 1992, 17', for tape (UPIC) and percussion, recorded at the Festival of Asian Composers League, Sendai, Japan, June 7, 1992 at the Sendai International Center with Shin-ichi Ueno, percussion (SPX1000 is a reverberator by Yamaha), replayed with percussionist Michael Pugliese at the Portrait de Iannis Xenakis concert, Radio France, Paris, France, November 30, 1992, excerpt from 10'28'' to 10'58'' © Takehito Shimazu