Blank Forms presents a tour of Éliane Radigue’s Occam Ocean, performed by Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, Charles Curtis, Rhodri Davies, and Robin Hayward in different combinations of performances of Occam, River, and Delta configurations each night. The San Francisco and Houston stops of the tour will also include diffusions of Radigue’s electronic works Vice-Versa, etc… and Trilogie de la Mort, using newly produced reel-to-reel tape editions of the original masters made as part of a series produced by Blank Forms in collaboration with Radigue for the high quality presentation of her work.
Éliane Radigue (b. 1932) is a pioneering French composer of undulating continuous music marked by patient, virtually imperceptible transformations that purposively unfold to reveal the intangible, radiant contents of minimal sound—its partials, harmonics, subharmonics and inherent distortions. As a student and assistant to musique concrète pioneers Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Radigue mastered tape splicing techniques, but preferred the creation of fluid, delicately balanced feedback works to the spasmodic dissonance of her teachers’ music. Finding peers among minimalist composers in America, Radigue began working with synthesis in 1970, eventually discovering the ARP 2500 synthesizer, which she would use exclusively for her celebrated electronic works to come. With remarkable restraint, Radigue spent years on each piece, painstakingly assembling series of subtle, pulsating ARP recordings to be later mixed meticulously into hourlong suites of precise, perpetual mutation, including masterpieces Trilogie de la mort and Adnos I-III. In 2001, Radigue adapted an early feedback work to live performance on electric bass, Elemental II, and in 2004, with the encouragement of ongoing collaborator Charles Curtis, she permanently abandoned electronics for acoustic composition, beginning with Naldjorlak for solo cello, composed for Curtis. As within each individual work, Radigue has maintained an obstinate focus throughout the flow of her career, her dedication to the materiality of sound earning her numerous accolades and ensuring her place as one of the most important composers of our time.
Occam Ocean tour is part of Éliane Radigue: Intermediate States, a retrospective curated by Lawrence Kumpf and Charles Curtis and developed in collaboration with Éliane Radigue for Blank Forms in New York. The retrospective seeks to present Radigue’s practice in a richly contextualized, holistic manner to draw out important connections between her early and late periods of work, examining the breadth of her practice and juxtaposing her compositions with new interpretations and experimental re-stagings by contemporary composers. The retrospective will continue with more programs into 2020.
Éliane Radigue: Intermediate States has been made possible with generous support from Pace Gallery, Wales Arts International, the Goethe-Institut, and through the New Music Fund, a program of FACE Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, Florence Gould Foundation, Fondation CHANEL, French Ministry of Culture, Institut français-Paris, and SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique).
Photo by Eleonore Huisse.