12 May 2011
Xenakis explored: Richard Toop at RMIT Gallery
Mid-20th century electronic and instrumental music and its relationship with architecture will be explored in a talk at RMIT Gallery on Thursday, 19 May, from 12 to 1pm.
Internationally celebrated Sydney musicologist Richard Toop will speak about the late Greek composer, architect and mathematician, Iannis Xenakis.
Mr Toop will talk about the relationship between music and architecture in the second half of the 20th century, with particular reference to Xenakis, a seminal modernist composer who was also an architect and, during the 1950s, one of Le Corbusier's right-hand men.
"After splitting with Le Corbusier, Xenakis went on to create many 'Polytopes', which combine music, architectural space and lighting in an entirely original manner," Mr Toop said. "My talk will include many musical and visual examples."
Mr Toop recently retired from the Sydney Conservatorium, where he is now Honorary Reader in the Musicology Unit. His particular interest is in contemporary modernist art music.
RMIT Gallery Director, Suzanne Davies, said that as current exhibitions explored music and spatial qualities in architecture, Mr Toop's talk would further the dialogue in this area. "RMIT Gallery is a forum for exploring all areas of creative discourse; and architects, designers and musicians will benefit greatly from this event," Ms Davies said.
Artist Chelle Macnaughtan researched Xenakis as part of the work leading into her current RMIT Gallery exhibition, Spatial Listening (14 April-28 May). As an artist and architect interested in the intertextuality of sound and space, she said Xenakis, along with American composer John Cage, was an important influence.
"Xenakis is the most important mid-20th century example of a transdisciplinary thinker who crossed boundaries between architecture and music," Ms Macnaughtan said.
Who: Richard Toop, with artists Chelle Macnaughtan and Malte Wagenfeld
What: Talk about Greek composer, architect and mathematician, Iannis Xenakis
When: Thursday, 19 May, 12 - 1pm
Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street. Free. Bookings (03) 9925 1717