Éliane Radigue

Photo Eliane Radigue
Éliane Radigue
BiographyÉliane Radigue (*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 1950s and 1960s, she mastered tape splicing techniques, which she applied in the creation of fluid, delicately balanced feedback works. Finding peers among minimalist composers in America, she began working with synthesis in 1971, eventually discovering the ARP 2500 synthesizer, which she would use exclusively for her celebrated electronic works to come. With remarkable restraint, she 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 «Trilogie de la mort». In 2001, she 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 him. 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 and original composers of our time.
Photo Credit Olivier Zahm, Artwork in the background: Arman, Copyright: ADAGP Paris 2019
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