Concert & binaural audio livestream
Éliane Radigue

Éliane Radigue: The Electronic Works 8

Opus 17 (1970)

“Opus 17” marks a turning point in Éliane Radigue's work. It is the last work in which she works with tape feedback processes. What can be heard is a sound world of raw sound phenomena of plastic quality.

Rotary knobs of an ARP synthesizer

“Éliane Radigue – Échos”. A film by Éleonore Huisse and François Bonnet, F 2021, film still

© Éleonore Huisse, François Bonnet

Past Dates

To ensure sufficient time for admission and 3G entry check, please arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the performance (no late admittance).

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)

“Éliane Radigue […] had just moved to New York and had the idea of acquiring an analog modular synthesizer, which is why she worked at NYU in order to try out the possibilities of the Buchla 100 series which we had there. One day, while gossiping, she invited me to her loft, which was just on the corner. She had me listen to a piece composed in France; the piece called ‘Opus 17’ […] What I heard changed to course of my life as a composer […] That piece, impressive source of inspiration, gave the impression of being in a grand cathedral, both for the sensation of immensity […], as for the effect of being so close to God.” (Rhys Chatham)

Éliane Radigue
Opus 17(1970)
Music for loudspeakers / Feedback on magnetic tape, 96 min

1. Étude
2. Maquette
3. Épure
4. Safari
5. Number 17

Produced 1970 at Éliane Radigue’s studio in Paris.
Premiered on 23 May 1970 at the Centre artistique de Verderonne, France.

François J. Bonnet sound direction