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The Stochastic Synthesis of Iannis Xenakis

Sergio Luque
Leonardo Music Journal
Vol. 19, Our Crowd—Four Composers Pick Composers (2009), pp. 77-84
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40926355
Page Count: 8
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The Stochastic Synthesis of Iannis Xenakis
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Abstract

In the late 1960s, composer, architect and theoretician Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) began his research on stochastic synthesis: an approach to microsound synthesis that uses probability distributions to manipulate individual digital samples. He continued with this research for most of the 1970s and from the late 1980s until the end of his career. This article traces the aesthetic origins of this non-standard synthesis technique and gives a historical presentation of its development, including a discussion of the works in which Xenakis used it and a full description of the dynamic stochastic synthesis algorithms. In addition, a new extension of these techniques is put forward: the stochastic concatenation of dynamic stochastic synthesis.

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