UPIC - Graphic Interfaces for Notation Conference
A man works on a computer program that digitally translates the graphic notation into sound
Fri, September 28, 2018 – Sat, September 29, 2018, Festival

The ZKM and Centre Iannis Xenakis (CIX) are organizing a two-day artistic-scientific symposium to explore current approaches and contemporary trends in the field of graphic notation for parameter generation for musical compositions.

In the late 1970s, composer Iannis Xenakis developed UPIC (Unité Polyagogique Informatique de CEMAMu, Centre d'Études de Mathématique et Automatique Musicales), a computer program that digitally translates graphic notation into sound. Using the tablet interface, composers can draw the waveforms and envelopes directly on an electronic tablet and the computer converts them into sound in real time. Drawing thereby become the vehicle of both the micro- and macro- structure of a musical work. The revolution in graphic composition triggered by Xenakis and supported by other established computer musicians such as Jean-Claude Risset or Curtis Roads continues forty years later thanks to modern computer programs, such as the graphic open source sequencer »Iannix«.

Artists as well as musicologists will resituate the »UPIC« in both an historical and cultural context and also discuss the state-of-the-art in the field of electroacoustic sonifications of graphic notations in lectures, a panel discussion and a concert. The symposium will also serve to prepare a book publication planned for 2019 at the ZKM in cooperation with the Centre Iannis Xenakis.

The »UPIC – Graphic Interfaces for Notation Conference« is organized in cooperation with Centre Iannis Xenakis (CIX) within the framework of the »Interfaces« project. 


Friday, September 28, 2018

Symposium Session I, Lecture Hall, 2 pm–6 pm


2 pm      

Cyrille Delhaye »Composing by drawing with UPIC: landmarks, archives and traces of composers«


3 pm

Alain Després »The 1980s: UPIC is less than ten years old«


4 pm 

Guy Médigue »The Early Days of UPIC«


5 pm

François-Bernard Mâche »UPIC upside down« 


6 pm



Concert I, Cube, 8 pm


Julian Scordato »Constellations« (2014), for graphic sequencers and electronics


Julian Scordato »Vision II« (2012), for graphic sequencers and electronics


Julian Scordato »Engi« (2017), for graphic sequencers and electronics


Julio Estrade »Eua'On« (1980), for UPIC (fixed media version)


Marcin Pietruszewski »/siv/« (2018) for synthetic voice and computer generated pluriphonic sound


François-Bernard Mâche »Tithon« (1989), fixed-media



Saturday, September 29, 2018

Symposium Session II, Lecture Hall, 10 am–1 pm

 10 amJulian Scordato »Graphic scores from UPIC to IanniX«
 11 amMark Pilkington »Current 9 – Audiovisual Composition«
 12 pmChikashi Miyama »Developing software for the audiovisual interaction«
 1 pmBreak


Symposium Session III, Lecture Hall, 2 pm–6 pm


2 pm 

Marcin Pietruszewski »Formalising from across multiple temporal scales« 


2.30 pm

Julio Estrada »The Listening Hand«, video presentation


3.30 pm 

Rodolphe Bourotte & Sharon Kanach »UPISketch: Renewal of an Old Idea«


4.30 pm

Panel-Discussion (Presentation: Ludger Brümmer)


6 pm



Concert II, Cube, 8 pm


Chikashi Miyama »Piano Chimera« (2008), video


Chikashi Miyama »Strokes« (2018, UA), audiovisual performance


Chikashi Miyama »Modulations« (2013/2018), for interactive multimedia system


Mark Pilkington »Current 9« (2018), audiovisual performance


Mark Pilkington »Lamaload A/V« (2017), audiovisual composition (8 channels)


Wilfried Jentzsch »Paysages Y 757« (2014), fixed media


Alexej Wieber »Klanggewebe« (2018), live electronics

Friday, September 28, 3 pm to Sunday, September 29, 2018, 8 pm
Installations by  Chikashi Miyama, Rodolphe Bourotte & Sharon Kanach


Porject Team

Ludger Brümmer & Yannick Hofmann (Curation)
CIX Sharon Kanach (Co-Curator)
Sophie Hesse, Dorte Becker (Organisation, Production Lead)
Benjamin Miller (Sound Engineer)
Hans Gass (​​​​​​​Event Technician)
David Luchow (Sound Technician Lecture Hall)

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media and Centre Iannis Xenakis

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