Concert & binaural audio livestream
Éliane Radigue

Éliane Radigue: The Electronic Works 14

Jetsun Mila (1986)

“Jetsun Mila” is inspired by the life of Jetsün Milarepa, a famous yogi and poet from Tibet who lived in the 11th century. Radigue’s musical evocation follows his most important stages in life.

Close-up of a tape deck of a tape recorder

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

© Éleonore Huisse, François Bonnet

Past Dates

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)

“This work is based on the life of Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi and poet of the 11th century. The story of his life as told to his closest disciple, Rechungpa, is one of the most popular works in Tibetan culture. The ‘Mila Kabum’ or ‘Namthar’ was one of the first works translated into a western language. In this story of Milarepa's life, legendary and real facts are closely interwoven. This evocation comprises nine hearts, preceded by a prelude, corresponding to the main periods of the famous yogi's life. They follow each other musically without any discontinuity, one naturally giving rise to the other.” (Éliane Radigue)

Éliane Radigue
Jetsun Mila(1986)
Music for loudspeakers / ARP 2500 synthesizer on magnetic tape, 84 min 24 sec

1. Prélude
2. Les origines
3. Les méfaits
4. Rencontre avec Marpa
5. Les épreuves
6. La pratique
7. Visite au pays natal
8. Les retraites
9. La réalisation
10. La mort

Produced and mixed at Éliane Radigue’s studio in Paris in 1986.
Premiered on 10 June 1986 at the Groupe d’Étude et de Réalisation Musicale (GERM), Paris.
Digital mastering: Bill Kipper
Technical Assistance for the final mix: Marc Moreau
Sound Mix: GERM

François J. Bonnet sound direction