The writer is Iannis Xenakis
The year is 1955
“[…] the serial system is thrown into question on its own two bases, which embody the seed of their own destruction and inadequacy :
their polyphonic structure.
A series (of any sort) is the result of a linear “category” of thought. It is a string of a finite number of objects. […]
Combinatory calculus is but one generalization of the serial principle. Its origin is found in the choice of how the 12 tones are arranged. […]
Linear polyphony is self-destructive in its current complexity. In reality, what one hears is a bunch of notes in various registers. The enormous complexity prevents one from following the tangled lines and its macroscopic effect is one of unreasonable and gratuitous dispersion of sounds over the whole sound spectrum. Consequently, there is a contradiction between the linear polyphonic system and the audible result, which is a surface, a mass.
This inherent contradiction with polyphony will disappear only once sounds become totally independent. In fact, since these linear combinations and their polyphonic superpositions are no longer workable, what will count will be the statistical average of isolated states of the components’ transformations at any given moment. […] .” (“La crise de la musique sérielle”, from Kéleütha. Ecrits, L’Arche, Paris, 1994, p.40-42, previously unpublished in English).
Re-blogged from iannis-xenakis.org