Megas Diakosmos

Primeval Sonic Atoms [2015]: Stelios Manousakis

for digital feedback

Megas Diakosmos (‘Μέγας Διάκοσμος’, roughly translating to ‘The Great Order of the Universe’) takes its name from a lost cosmological treatise written by Leukippos, an ancient Greek natural philosopher of the 5th century BCE. In this treatise, Leukippos introduced for the first time an Atomic Theory of cosmology, surprisingly comparable to contemporary cosmological theories. Very little is known about the work, but according to remarks of other ancient writers, Leukippos postulated that the universe consists of tiny, invisible, indestructible, unchangeable and indivisible ‘Atoms’ (the ‘Being’) differing only in size and shape, and of ‘Void’ (the ‘Non-being’), that exists in-between atoms and has also material properties, although different (anti-matter?). This infinitely expanding and contracting void allows atoms to move and collide eternally, creating and destroying matter, new bodies, and our world, but also a vast number of other worlds in the universe, some inhabited some not.

Leukippos’ atomic theory and turbulent cosmogonic vision form the conceptual and experiential starting points for the composition, its sonorities and their development throughout the piece, as well as for the system and sound synthesis methods used. The system is a cybernetic model based on digital feedback and implemented as a sonic complex dynamical system – mathematically similar to a cosmological entity or universe in motion. This sonic universe is defined by the sample-by-sample interactions of a single binary digit (One, or ‘Being’) moving incessantly within a world of Void (Zeros, or ‘Non-being’). This digit floats and collides, is fused and split from delayed copies of itself, thus creating countless sonic bodies in states of equilibrium, oscillation, chaotic behavior, noise and silence.

Although Megas Diakosmos is a fixed medium piece, all the different ‘worlds’ (layers and sections) were performed in real-time using a hands-on, live electronics version of the system to maintain an aspect of ‘in-time’ timelessness, and to accentuate the primal and visceral character of the composition.

Year: 2011
Type: Fixed medium
Description: 2 channel fixed medium sound, for digital feedback
Duration: 8’45”
Materials/Media: Sound, speakers
Software: SuperCollider
Publication: Appears at the Mind The Gap CD compilation accompanying the Gonzo (circus) magazine for innovative music and culture (#103), together with an artist presentation & interview (reprinted at Kunstlicht magazine) [2011].
Released by inkilino records in 2015, in Stelios Manousakis: Primeval Sonic Atoms


Stelios Manousakis: Composition, studio performance, programming


Megas Diakosmos, by Stelios Manousakis: Instrument Diagram
Megas Diakosmos, by Stelios Manousakis: Instrument Diagram


Go to the Mind The Gap release of Megas Diakomos, published with Gonzo (circus) magazine in 2011 below:

Megas Diakosmos in Mind The Gap compilation [gc103]

Megas Diakosmos by Stelios Manousakis published as an exclusive track at Mind The Gap #90. Mind The Gap is a bi-montly CD publication by Gonzo (circus) magazine, featuring a selection […]