Éliane Radigue: The Electronic Works 1
Trilogie de la Mort I. Kyema (1988)
Éliane Radigue’s “Trilogie de la Mort” – a milestone of minimalistic electroacoustic music – is inspired by the “Tibetan Book of the Dead”. The performance of the first chapter “Kyema” of the trilogy marks the beginning of the 17-part concert cycle dedicated to Éliane Radigue's electronic works.
To celebrate the French music pioneer Éliane Radigue’s 90th birthday, MaerzMusik presents her entire electronic music oeuvre for the first time live. A series of seventeen concerts performed under the sound direction of François Bonnet, aka Kassel Jaeger, spreads across the entire festival. Set in the unique acousmatic environment of the Zeiss-Großplanetarium, this homage attempts to give full access to the enchanting depth of Radigue’s music for loudspeakers created between 1970 and 2000.
“Éliane Radigue was born on January 24th, 1932 in Paris, where she still lives and works today. From her Parisian childhood she will keep the memory of a secret initiation into music, mediated by a prudent piano teacher. Then she will continue with the harp, with singing and composition. But it is through the contact with ‘musique concrète‘, alongside Pierre Schaeffer and later Pierre Henry, that Radigue's music will find its genuine path.
Over more than 50 years there will be three distinct periods, each of them marking a rupture while evoking in its own way an inspired exploration of thresholds, of spaces opening up in intervals, and of a dialogue between listening experience and inner experience, personal history and sensible memory. The first period (1968–1971) is that of work on feedbacks and re-injections, an embryonic phase already signalling extreme preciseness as well as work on thresholds and threatened equilibriums. The second period that of maturity, and spanning thirty years (1971–2001), is characterised by a fruitful production of electronic compositions, indelibly linking her music to the unique beats of the ARP 2500 synthesizer. This period also initiates the elaboration of long forms with subtle variations that blossom and resonate between the story carried by the music and the test of time necessary for its unfolding. The third period, still ongoing, is that of her acoustic works created in close collaboration with musician-accomplices coming from all horizons, bringing an additional relational dimension to a music, which until then had been constructed solitarily. Throughout her life, Éliane Radigue has developed a candid, demanding and inspiring body of work which today influences a whole new generation of musicians.” (François Bonnet)
“To my son, Yves Arman. Inspired by the text of Bardo-Thödol (Tibetan Book of the Dead), this piece evokes the six intermediate states that constitute the existential continuity of being: 1. Kyene – birth; 2. Milam – the dream; 3. Samtem – contemplation; 4. Chikal – death; 5. Chönye – clear light; 6. Sippai – crossing and returning.” (Éliane Radigue)
Trilogie de la Mort
Music for loudspeaker / ARP 2500 synthesizer on magnetic tape, 61 min 7 sec
1. Kyene – Naissance
2. Milam – Rêve
3. Samten – Contemplation – Méditation
4. Chikaï – Mort
5. Chönye – Claire lumière
6. Sippaï – Traversée et retour
Produced at Éliane Radigue’s studio in Paris.
Premiered on 17 December 1988 at New Langton Arts, San Francisco.