AccueilFrom Xenakis to the present: the Continuum in music and architecture

*  *  *

Publié le mardi 15 mars 2016 par João Fernandes

Résumé

Since the Classical era and the Middle Ages, and in particular since Plato’s Timeus, the concept of continuum has preoccupied thinkers. In the early 20th century, this notion was reactivated by the theory of relativity as well as other theories such as the uncertainty principle, changing our perception of the world, and consequently artistic discourse. We propose to examine where we are today in terms of the concept of continuum, both in theory and in practice. An interdisciplinary approach will enable us to evaluate the relevancy of this notion, comparing and contrasting it with other methodologies, during this international conference.

Annonce

Argument

Since the Classical era and the Middle Ages, and in particular since Plato’s Timeus, the concept of continuum has preoccupied thinkers. In the early 20th century, this notion was reactivated by the theory of relativity as well as other theories such as the uncertainty principle, changing our perception of the world, and consequently artistic discourse. Even if this upheaval corresponded to technological advances on the one hand and the collapse of the romantic model on the other hand, it was only around the middle of the 20th century that artists adopted these new physical and metaphysical concepts, prompting new creative tools, especially in music and architecture.

We propose to examine where we are today in terms of the concept of continuum, both in theory and in practice. An interdisciplinary approach will enable us to evaluate the relevancy of this notion, comparing and contrasting it with other methodologies, during this international conference organized in partnership with the European University of Cyprus (Cultural Studies and Contemporary Arts research laboratory (CSCA) and University of Cyprus (Architecture Dept.), the Centre Iannis Xenakis, the GRHIS (Université de Rouen), ENSA Normandie. Parallel to our interrogations, two concerts  will be hosted inspired by the sound continuum.

The continuum emerges as a new musical preoccupation at the beginning of the 20th century with string glissandi in Bartók’s music, Julián Carrillo’s extreme microtonality, Henry Cowell’s conception of continuous harmonic rhythm, in addition to Wyschnegradsky’s ultrachromaticism and pansonority. Beginning in the 1950s, thecontinuum theme manifests itself in Xenakis’s theoretical and technological research as well as in his compositions, in Ligeti’s polyphonic and polyrhythmic textures, in Nancarrow’s rhythm-sound alloys, as well as in Scelsi’s explorations of continual transitions within a single sound.

In architecture, Iannis Xenakis sought to make sound and light materials palpable both in their ability to create a receptacle as well as in their ability to occupy space. The developments of new materials, often hybrids, as well as the evolution of computer and digital technologies now enable one to pursue a projective critical practice, sculpting the sound space all while enhancing perception from different perspectives.

In 1958, the Philips Pavilion initiated what Xenakis called “electronic architecture” where its plastic continuum binds walls and ceilings in global envelope. Such architectural forms, thought of as uninterrupted volume, can be found at the time by certain architects – for example Pier Luigi Nervi or Félix Candela – and more recently others, in architectures designed using computer modeling and “layerings”.

Layering  of planes and spaces emerge in the work of well-known architects allowing a ‘journey’ through spaces and creating  spatial continuum. Transparency in architecture allows for two objects to co-exist in the same space and time. As such, transparency has often been described as a space-time condition of “betweeness” where interpenetration of figures and objects results in a simultaneous perception of different spatial locations where space  fluctuates in a continuous activity.

Spatial continuity between rooms either by omitting walls or by piercing them with wide openings  creates spatial continuities and articulates layered compositions. Adolf Loos for example states that his architecture is not conceived in plan, but rather in terms of spaces or cubes, hence the Raum–plan, which achieves a merging of spaces into a continuous space. Referring to the work of Le Corbusier, Giedion points to the notion of spatial interpenetration where boundaries are blurred and spatial continuum prevails.

Whether in a linear yet composite format, or in a layered deep configuration, whether involving sounds or visual assemblages, whether these are ‘found’ or ‘ designed’, we invite musicians, architects, artists, theorists and anyone who is interested to share with us their work related on the topic by submitting  an abstract.

So we are delighted to host Continuum2016 conference which will be held in Nicosia, Cyprus on the 12th June to the 14th June 2016. The French leg of this colloquium in Rouen in the fall of 2015 offered us several approaches linked to the question of continuum and Xenakis (see complete program here: http://www.centre-iannis-xenakis.org/programme?lang=en). Closer to Plato’s homeland, the Cypriot and final leg will enable us to further explore and debate this topic, which is so crucial to contemporary thought and artistic practice in the 21st   century.

Important dates

Abstract submission deadline: April 15th 2016

Notification on accepted abstracts: May 2nd 2016

Submission guidelines

Please read the abstract requirements carefully before submitting your abstracts. The following guidelines should be used by authors:

  • Abstracts must be written in English, and presented in English at the conference.
  • Abstracts must present original work that has not been previously presented at conferences or in journals elsewhere.
  • Abstracts should be submitted via the Continuum 2016 ONLINE SUBMISSION SYSTEM for consideration as a presented paper.
  • Abstract should not exceed 500 words, should have a clear title and include three keywords, and three references. Abstracts shall be accepted in either PDF, doc, docx or txt formats.
  • Authors should include their names, affiliations, contact details (postal address and email address) and a short biography up to 100 words for each of the authors.
  • Authors of accepted abstracts are requested to present their papers during the conference. After notification of abstract acceptance for presentation in the conference, at least one of the abstract authors should register within 10 working days from the date of the notification letter.
  • Information on paper presentations will be given to authors in due course.

The abstract submission will be via the EasyChair platform. By clicking the following link, you will be diverted to the EasyChair interface, which is very easy to use. You just need to register (if you have not done so before) and then follow the instructions for submission on the Continuum2016 page.

Click here to submit an abstract to Continuum2016

For further inquiries please email: charalambousnadia@gmail.com . The subject-line of the email should clearly state ‘Continuum2016 abstract”.

Organizing committee

  • Evis Sammoutis (European University Cyprus/CSCCA)
  • George Christofi (European University Cyprus/CSCCA)
  • Christos Hadjichristos (U of Cyprus/Dept. Architecture)
  • Nadia Charalambous (U of Cyprus/Dept. Architecture)
  • Fabienne Fendrich (ENSA Normandie)
  • Sharon Kanach (Centre Iannis Xenakis)
  • Jean Louis Villeval (Centre Iannis Xenakis)

Scientific committee

  • Sharon Kanach (independent researcher, CIX)
  • Pierre Albert Castanet (GRHis, Professor, Université de Rouen)
  • Evis Sammoutis (composer, Associate Professor, European University Cyprus/CSCA)
  • Christos Hadjichristos (Associate Professor, U of Cyprus/Dept. Architecture)
  • Nadia Charalambous (Assistant Professor, U of Cyprus/Dept. Architecture)
  • Odysseas Kontovourkis (Assistant Professor, U of Cyprus/Dept. Architecture)
  • Marcos Novak (architect, Professor, Director of the transLAB, University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Athanassios Economou (Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Georgia Tech)
  • Peter Sheppard Skaerved (violinist, Royal Academy of Music, London)
  • Olga Touloumi (Assistant Professor of Art History, Bard College)

Lieux

  • European University Cyprus, Music Department, - 6 Diogenous, Egkomi 1516
    Nicosie, Chypre

Dates

  • vendredi 15 avril 2016

Mots-clés

  • musicologie, Xenakis, music, architecture

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • François Delisle
    courriel : francois [dot] delisle [at] univ-rouen [dot] fr

Pour citer cette annonce

« From Xenakis to the present: the Continuum in music and architecture », Appel à contribution, Calenda, Publié le mardi 15 mars 2016, http://calenda.org/359734