We need your accompaniment in the extraordinary adventure of the percussions of Strasbourg. More than half a century of projects, meetings and sharing continue to feed our curiosity, and our desire for innovation and transmission.
Whatever your donation, help us maintain and develop our instrumentarium, and bring our exceptional heritage to life. We invite you to discover our past, to share our present in order to build a common future.
Support an international ensemble by becoming a patron, and join in the creative madness of strasbourg percussion.
Thank you for your generosity!
MINH-TÂM NGUYEN, DIRECTEUR ARTISTIQUE
BECOME A DONOR
By joining our circle of patrons, you bring a precious support to the development of a unique ensemble.
Your donation allows us to purchase new instruments and helps us to develop our cultural mediation workshops. Be at the heart of musical creation while discovering the other side of the stage and developing a special relationship with the ensemble.
THIS YEAR YOUR DONATIONS WILL BE USED TO BUILD NEW SIXXENS!
In 2021, we need to create a new version of the Sixxen, an instrument dear to Iannis Xenakis, a well-known and recognized composer in the world of contemporary percussion.
Originally designed in 1979 for the Percussions de Strasbourg to play the work Pléiades, the sixxen is a metallic instrument with 19 unevenly distributed pitches based on intervals of a quarter or a third of a tone and their multiples.
Its name derives from the number SIX (in reference to the Percussions de Strasbourg, which for many years had six players) and from XEN, the first three letters of Xenakis’ name. Six models were designed for the ensemble in such a way that all the sixxens played together would never create any notes sounding in unison. In 1984, Robert Hébrard and his friend Albert Abitbol, a specialist in metallic materials, designed the third version of the instrument in close collaboration with the musicians and the composer.
“Several versions of the sixxens were built before the one we are familiar with today. There are no standards for these instruments, which sound quite different depending on their construction. We know from personal accounts that Xenakis did not have any specific ideas about how he wanted them to sound. He simply wanted them not to sound ‘classical’, which is hardly precise! We know that he envisaged them not being made of metal but of very hard porcelain.” Philippe Manoury
Why new sixxens?
40 years after the creation of our Sixxens, the Percussions de Strasbourg would like to spread this sound imagined by Xenakis further, and, while respecting the fundamental properties of this original version, to design a new one.
The current Sixxens are still usable, but they are beginning to show significant signs of ageing under the effect of time and use. They are also very difficult to disassemble and very bulky, which greatly limits the possibility of moving them for performances. The main innovations concern the frame, the dampers, the pedal, the possibility to remove the
The main innovations concern the frame, the dampers, the pedal, the possibility to remove the blades to play them individually, as well as the ease of packaging to go on tour. The ensemble hopes to be able to preserve a unique original object, a key element in the history of contemporary percussion.