Matteo Franceschini (1979)

X (2005)

installation interactive, pour soprano et violon

  • General information
    • Composition date : 2005
    • Duration :
    • Editor : Suvini Zerboni
    • Commande: AGON pour le Festival Iannis Xenakis
Detailed formation
  • 1 soprano solo, 1 violon

Creation information

  • Date : 27 October 2005
    Location :

    Triennale de Milan, Festival Iannis Xenakis, tenu par Milano Musica

    Performers :

    Silvia Spruzzola, soprano ; Barbara Pinna, violon.

Information about electronic
Electronic device : dispositif multimédia (vidéo, lumière)


En collaboration avec Adriano Abbado.

Program note

X is inspired by the work and thought of the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis. Among all the concepts and ideas brought by Xenakis, we have chosen one that seemed absolutely contemporary, especially in the digital domain, that is the idea of a game/composition.

Videogames are used at all latitudes, as everybody knows. Often times, though, they don’t offer any cultural value. We like to think instead that it is possible to create interesting visual and musical architectures, starting from videogame technology.

Among all the possible games, we have chosen “memory”, because it is easy to use and well known.

In this game the user has to find eight couples of images distributed randomly on a grid. Every couple found generates an audiovisual event that is shown on a big screen and heard through quadraphonic speakers. When all couples are found, the composition is complete, but it is created each time in a different order, according to which couples are found first. Once done, it is possible to continue to the next level. There are three levels, each one with a different work.

Another side of Xenakis’ work that has greatly influenced X is the creation of granular events, that is events that are extremely short, but are produced in huge quantities in order to get clouds of singularities, managed with statistical methods.

The idea derives from the physicist Dennis Gabor, Nobel Prize for the invention of holography, who in the late ’40s demonstrated experimentally that it is possible to generate a continuous sound by starting from many discrete micro sounds, i.e. micro aural “frames”. The idea was then brought to music by Xenakis, and transposed into the digital music domain by Curtis Roads and into computer graphics by Bill Reeves.

The images of X are entirely made with visual granular synthesis: that is by putting together many particles in order to create irregular and changing shapes. The particles are generated in real-time.

This composition technique, as well as others introduced by Xenakis, such as glissandi for instance, are also used in the musical part.

Adriano Abbado - Matteo Franceschini.