Her performances became famous for endurance pieces.
Geelriandre - Arthesis (Fringes, 2003) collects
two droning pieces
composed before Radigue began to focus on feedback:
for prepared piano and synthesizer,
that weaves together low-volume cricket-like noise and
ticking piano notes in a highly otherworldly manner,
the synth noise slowly evolving to become a galactic radio signal;
Arthesis (1973), a subminimal synthesizer rumble in motion
that slowly mutates into other moving sounds
until it becomes a wall clock striking the hour.
Adnos I-III (Table of the Elements, 2002), composed between 1974 and 1982, is a monumental work of meticulously assembled electronic music
that implementes slowly evolving drones. As variation only occurs over a
long period of time, this makes for hyper-deep listening.
L'Ile Re-Sonante (Shiiin, 2005) is a 55-minute composition dating from
The double-CD CHRY-PTUS (Schoolmap, 2007) collects
four versions of CHRY-PTUS.
Lappetites' Before The Libretto (Quecksilber, 2005) was a collaboration among Elaine Radigue (France), Kaffe Matthews (Britain), Ryoko Kuwajima (Japan), and Antye Greie-Fuchs (Germany), basically a multinational laptop quartet ranging in age from the 70-year old Radigue to the Japanese teenager.
Vice Versa, etc.... (Important, 2009)
is a double-disc album curated by Manu Holterbach that includes one of Radigue's
earliest compositions and several "remixes" of sorts.
Radigue's drones for feedback on magnetic tape Viceversa (1970)
came with the instructions to be played back at any speed and at any duration
and either backwards or forwards.
The album contains the original Radigue-made tape and
a number of variations played backwards and at different speeds.
Jouet Electronique/Elemental I (Alga Marghen, 2011)
collects two early compositions for feedback, composed and recorded between 1967 and 1968:
Jouet Electronique (12 minutes), that toys with purely electronic
sounds and produces elegant and calm variations,
and the four-movement Elemental I (11 minutes), that employs
natural sounds as sources and produces much more varied and violent effects.
Transamorem - Transmortem (Important, 2011) documents a 67-minute sound installation for synthesizer from 1974.
The ear-splitting hiss and the monotonous vibration destabilize each other
along the way, but the difference really requires extremely "deep" listening
to be appreciated.
Occam I (2011) for solo harp began a new series, continued with
Occam II (2012) for violin,
Occam III (2012) for birnbyne,
Occam IV for viola,
Occam VI for synthesizer,
Occam River I for Birnbyne and viola,
Occam Delta I for birnbyne violin, viola and harp,
Occam Delta II for bass clarinet, viola and harp,
Occam V for cello,
Occam VII for voice,
Occam VIII for cello,
Occam IX (2013),
Occam X for trumpet,
Occam XI for tuba,
Occam River II for violin and cello.
Feedback Works (2012) collects three sound installations:
and Stress Osaka (1970).
Opus 17 (2013) contains music from 1970.
Psi 847 (2013), originally composed in 1972, is one of her major works,
a hypnotic stream of ringing tolls that is dwarfed by a violent, shrill drone
over the course of more than 70 minutes of organic unfolding.
Naldjorlak (2008) for cello, recorded at a Paris chapel in 2006,
was her entirely acoustic composition.
Two more parts were included in the triple-disc
Naldjorlak I II III (2013). The three parts had been premiered in 2009.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Margherita Malerba) |
Eliane Radigue (Paris, 1923) studied electroacoustic music with Pierre
Schaeffer and Pierre Henry (she was the assistant of the latter from 1967 to 1968) and moved to the USA in 1970.
After an experience with the synthesizer Buchla, CHRY-PTUS (1971), she devoted
herself to the Arp synthesizer, admiring its pure tonalities. Her first
important recording was Biogenesis(Metamkine,
1996), from 1973.
In 1975 she converted to Buddhism and began the colossal endeavour
of composing a trilogy of electronic symphonies dedicated to
Milarepa, a Tibetan medieval ascetic. Songs
Of Milarepa (Lovely Music,
1983), Jetsun Mila(Lovely Music, 1987)
and Mila's Journey Inspired By A Dream (Lovely Music, 1987).
conceives of music as a form of religious expression. Every one of her tracks
is intended to be “read” as a prayer. She employes the modality of La Monte
Young´s long static radiations, which imperceptibly shift in frequency, acting on consciousness on a subliminal
Kyema/ Intermediate States (XI,
1990), composed in 1988, is dedicated to the six intermediate states which
constitute the existential continuum of every living being according to the Tibetan
Book of the Dead (whose original title is Bardo Thodol, or
“liberation through listening during the intermediate states”). Kyema
consists of an hour-long composition of uninterrupted drones immersed in a
Kyene constitues some
kind of tuning for this colossal “om” which is finally set in motion with Milam. Milam's extremely slow
evolution still bears traces of melody, even if dilated throughout its twelve
minutes, while by blending into Samten, it
becomes just a very intense hum. Because of the shift of frequency, the sound
seems to vanish into a faint, blurred vibration; it actually just gets lower
(and therefore darker) and then slowly rises in the vortex of Chikai, where it haphazardly blends with
little sounds of ghosts; soon the vortex intensifies, almost reaching symphonic
dimensions (Chikai conveys the sounds of decomposition that man
supposedly hears just before death; it really is one of the most terrifying
tracks of electronic music of all times). In Chonye the mechanical dripping of a note over a subsonic rustle induces
a hypnotic state, then slows down until it vanishes, replaced by the cosmic
radiation in the background of Sippai. Every movement blends into the
successive one, as though sliding from a higher level to a lower one.
is actually just the first part in the monumental Trilogie De La Mort(XI,
1998), which is dedicated to the artist´s son, who died in a car accident. The
other two parts are Kailasha (1991),
an imaginary pilgrimage to the holy mountain of Tibet, and Koume(1993), which celebrates the transcendence of death, the
ultimate theme of the whole work. Both of these parts where recorded as two
long fluxes of sounds, lasting about one hour each.
with a storm of low, brutal drones, progressively filling up the acoustic
space, creating an exasperating tension. The vibrations are continuosly moving,
but as they don´t follow any logic of harmony or melody, they amount to a
disturbing cosmic radiation.
Koume, in contrast, is
based on a terrifying percussive rythm, fluctuating between states of opposite
intensities, but mantaining the paroxysm of a jackhammer. Towards the middle of
the track, the percussions turn into a deafening hum. Then emerges an imposing
“om”, which seems to wander the whole universe in quest of Nirvana, increasing
in violence and voices, overlaying infinte copies of itself. An apocalyptic
symphony falls over the world of men. But that violence slowly diminishes,
until what is left is just the lowest
vibration, as though entropy reached its peak and no sign of life were left.