Deep listening with Éliane Radigue

Éliane Radigue and me, November 2015

Éliane Radigue and me, November 2015

Last week, I was privileged to be granted an interview with the truly exceptional composer Éliane Radigue at her home in Paris. The interview will be written up for my research project, currently underway at CRiSAP, at the University of the Arts London. It will eventually be available to all researchers who visit the Her Noise archives at the London College of Communication. Other interviews will include Ellen Fullman, Laurie Anderson, Annea Lockwood, Laurie Spiegel and the mighty Pauline Oliveros herself, whose life work has been the development of the Deep Listening practice.

I’ve done lots of interviews in my years as a journalist, but there aren’t many where I’ve felt that a real meeting took place. This was one. Once it was over, Éliane said, “Take a selfie!” So we did. (Thank you, Catherine Facerias, for the nice photo.) We also got to play with her very nice ginger cat.

There’s a very nice film of Radigue by Anaïs Prosaic (link below). Her 65-minute  L’écoute virtuose (Virtuoso Listening) was made a few years ago after the composer was in London for the superb Triptych: The Music of Éliane Radigue, a 15-night series of concerts organised by British new music champions Sound and Music in June 2011. I attended an evening of early feedback and loop pieces at St Stephen’s Walbrook in the City. It consisted of seven Radigue works composed between 1969-70, which were originally created for gallery installation. This was work that predates Radigue’s radical work with the ARP 2500 synthesiser, an instrument she used until quite recently. Nevertheless, the seeds of her later work are al here in their slow, minutely changing timbres, shapes and colours. It was an occasion for deep listening (pace Oliveros) as well as deep looking as the evening shadows lengthened and the interior of the church descended from light to dusk to darkness.

Anaïs Prosaïc’s 65-minute  L’écoute virtuose is also available on DVD with English subtitles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czcmpfe_eXE

For the background of Triptych: http://www.soundandmusic.org/projects/triptych-music-eliane-radigue/talks

And a nice interview (in French) between Radigue and Hans-Ulrich Obrist at the Foundation Cartier is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6gncKkp34E

Keep an eye on the schedule of Sound and Music, too. There are always some exciting curatorial programmes and commissions going on: http://www.soundandmusic.org

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