Thursday, September 23, 2004
Alex Ross is a genius even when tossing off a little post about a TV series. Does he use 'Xenakish' in describing music that is similar to the work by Iannis Xenakis? Does he go with 'Xenakian' or 'Xenakissian'? No! He picks the fantastic "Xenakitastic." What makes this adjective so great, and how many questions can I write in a row? (I blame Donald Rumsfeld.) Xenakis was known for creating the compositional technique that he called "stochastic music." It is his attempts to inject some unpredictability into his music, using a complex system of mathematical "sieves" and some good-old-fashioned fudging by the composer. Hence Alex Ross is a genius. But then, I'm a specialist, so what do I know?