The first experimental Columbia studio focused on music as a heuristic device to imagine a language of architecture was held in 1989 with Morton Feldman as the point of departure.
This studio departs from the music of Iannis Xenakis and culminates in public space proposals for the disused industrial waterfront of the Greek city of Patra. The creative energies of these 12 graduate students driven by the brilliant teaching of Dimitra Tsachrelia and Eirini Tsachrelia, both Architects born in Patra has resulted in three amazing proposals for Patra due to teamwork and enthusiastic cooperation.
Work on the language of architecture is important to open spatial and experiential potentials of the 21st century. As John Cage wrote in one of his visual poems ‘ The arts are not isolated from one another but engage in dialogue, this understanding will introduce new kinds of spatial phenomena, however each art can do what another cannot, it has been predictable therefore, that new music will be answered by the new architecture -work we have not yet seen’
John Cage (who I met several times in NYC) stood as an example of free thinking, international peace and preservation of the natural world. As a futurist he foresaw the creative future of architecture in new music. Let us experiment!
- Steven Holl 2017
MUSIC IS NOT A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
Different kinds of music employ different kinds of vocabulary. There are overlaps, but overlaps are outnumbered by divergences and singularities.
Iannis Xenakis went even further, proclaiming “Music is not a language. Any musical piece is akin to a boulder with complex forms, with striations and engraved designs atop and within, which one can decipher in a thousand different ways...” Emphasizing the ‘thingness’ of his own compositional vocabulary, IX’s music is meant to challenge audiences: “The listener must be gripped whether he likes it or not, drawn into the flight path of the sounds without special training being necessary. The sensual shock must be just as forceful as when one hears a clap of thunder or looks into a bottomless abyss.”
Building on the dappled intersections throughout history of basic principles underpinning music, science and the natural world, IX sought to fuse music with the latest breakthroughs in science and mathematics in what he called “art-alloy” — combining principles of each as a fused entity rather than conceptual syzygy.
Music is sounds in time and space — whether the flight path of sounds is like thunder, abyss or something else — in the same way that architecture is structure in space and light.
This Architectonics of Music Studio challenged the art-alloy and sensual shock of Iannis Xenakis’ compositions to inspire an approach towards a more personal architectural vocabulary.
- Raphael Mostel 2017