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About this Piece

Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) was born to Greek parents living in Romania, and his early interests included music and mathematics. While enrolled at Athens Polytechnic to study engineering, Xenakis began to pursue music in earnest. These complementary interests – engineering and music – led to an encounter (and later employment) in Paris with the architect Le Corbusier, who introduced him to two leading members of the musical avant-garde, Varèse and Messaien. In Xenakis’ break-through work, Metastaseis, the composer unified architectural space (itself a manifestation of mathematics) and music. His music also reflects an interest in both electronic music and in Greek culture, especially folk culture and ancient Greek drama. Xenakis composed the solo percussion work Rebonds in 1987-89, and dedicated it to percussionist Sylvio Gualda. The composer has written the following note:

Rebonds is in two parts, a and b. The order of play is not fixed: either ab or ba, without a break. The metronomic indications are approximate. Part a only uses skins: two bongos, three tom-toms, two bass drums. Part b uses two bongos, one tumba, one tom-tom, bass drums, and a set of five wood blocks. The tuning of the skins and the wood blocks should extend over a very wide range.”