Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Philips Pavilion

Pictured below, the Philips Pavilion designed by architect and composer Iannis Xenakis for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels… I watched Aliens a few w/ends back and have been mulling over the image in James Cameron’s film of the dome-shaped atmosphere processing station on LV-426. I expect Cameron based his sketches for the plant on an industrial installation of some sort but this imposing looking structure has always reminded me of Xenakis’ complex, curving 3-pronged tent design of the Philips Pavilion. With that in mind I’m currently listening to Xenakis’ 1971 work Persepolis, an hour-long electro-acoustic sound work of metallic drones, industrial clatter, atonal whistles and serrated electronics. The work was written to commemorate the founding of the Persian city of Persepolis with Xenakis’ swirling score representing busy city life, but rather it sounds like a trip into some infernal slaughterhouse, all swinging meat hooks and rusted chains. Another pivotal proto-Industrial piece of music. Listen here

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