Kraanerg by Iannis Xenakis is one of the most important works of the post-1950 era. James Harley, a leading Xenakis scholar, presents the genesis of Kraanerg, from the granting of the commission to the choreographer, to the selection of Xenakis as composer, to the premiere, recording, and subsequent presentations. The book is written with the benefit of access to sketches and recordings in the Xenakis Archives, allowing Harley to delve into the details of how this particular work came about. An overview of Xenakis's life is provided, looking at his major works and important compositional techniques and accomplishments, as well as looking at the presenters of the work and other principles in the performance history. Harley presents analytical and critical discussions of Kraanerg's music and reception, including the relationship of the score to the recorded parts. James Harley is a composer with first-hand experience of the interlocking fields of acoustic and electronic music that Xenakis made his own. The book is accompanied by a CD, which helps to conceptualize the extremely complex score.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Biography; Musical background to Kraanerg; The Kraanerg project; Kraanerg analysis; Reception; Performance history; Epilogue; Bibliography; CD track list; Index.
James Harley is a Canadian composer. He obtained his doctorate at McGill University in 1994, after spending six years (1982-88) composing and studying in Europe (London, Paris, Warsaw). As a researcher, Harley has written extensively on contemporary music. His book Xenakis: His Life in Music was published in 2004.
’James Harley's detailed account of one of Xenakis's most substantial compositions is an exemplary piece of scholarly reconstruction. With ample material on the work's biographical and technical background, and a thorough survey of its performance history and critical reception, a vivid picture emerges of those mid-twentieth-century years in which pioneering and uncompromising avant-garde enterprises like Xenakis's achieved a rare and relatively brief artistic momentum.’ Arnold Whittall, King’s College London, UK