“Besides being a path-breaking modern composer, Xenakis, who died in 2001, was a music theorist and an accomplished architect. Like many of his works, “Persephassa” has a spatial element. He intended the percussionists to be placed far from one another in a hexagonal formation with the audience in the middle. The 30-minute piece has never been performed on a lake, the producers say.”
It’s safe to say most musical pieces have never been performed on a lake. (Except for Green Day performing the Simpsons theme on Springfield lake, see below).
This idea of using spatial elements has been percolating around in modern music. A friend from San Francisco Conservatory, Jon Kulpa, composed a piece “On Expanding Resonances” for 9 string quintets surrounding the audience, put on a performance in San Francisco with the 60-piece Surround Sound String Orchestra this past May. I”m hoping he gets a recording online at some point.
Here is a taste of Persephassa on a lake (stereo only, sadly):
And here is the Simpsons Theme on a lake: