HomeHistorical referencesUPICMycènes Alpha

Mycènes Alpha



Mycènes Alpha, by Iannis Xenakis, is the first pièce entirely composed on the UPIC. This work was specifically conceived to be integrated in the Polytope de Mycènes, which was performed between September 2 – 5, 1978, in the ruins of the acropolis of Mycenae in Greece.  It was there that the first previously unheard electronic sounds of the prototype (UPIC A) developed by CEMAMu team were heard. Described by Xenakis as "a feast of light, movement and music," this Polytope purported to be the synthesis of the previous multi-media performances by the composer. [Polytope de Montréal (1967), Polytope de Cluny I & II (1972-1973), Polytope de Persépolis (1971), Diatope (1978)].

The first performance of Mycènes Alpha in France also took place in 1978 in a concert celebrating Olivier Messiaen’s 70th birthday. Since then, this work is regularly programmed in concerts and international festivals.

With a duration of 9'36 '' minutes, the work consists of ten UPIC pages (one is identically repeated). Below: the preparatory sketches by Xenakis from the CIX Archives.