info@kingsplace.co.uk Tel 020 7520 1440

Éliane Radigue: Exploring Occam

Feature

Helen Wallace introduces the legendary composer Eliane Radigue and her water-inspired series, Occam

 

 

On 1 October, Rhodri Davies and Helene Breschand will perform the world premiere of Eliane Radigue’s new work for two harps, in an evening devoted to her music. It is the latest in a line of mesmerising, meditative works created in collaboration with specially-chosen musicians by the pioneering French composer.

Born in Paris in 1932, Radigue spent decades exploring musique concrete, cutting and splicing enormous reels of magnetic tape. In the Sixties she was part of the early Minimalist community in New York, including Tenney, Reich and Glass. Back in France in the 1970s, she transferred her medium to Buchlar and ARP synthesizers, creating such visionary epics as Trilogie de la mort.

At the dawn of the new Millenium, she abandoned electronics, and began writing a series of pieces for acoustic instruments, launching the Occam series in 2008. Each new piece begins with her sitting down with a performer and talking about water. Interviewed by Kate Molleson in her Sound with Sound, she describes the collaborative process: ‘I like musicians to choose an image from his or her own country: we all have a special place associated with water. Who hasn’t meditated in front of an ocean, a river or waterfall?’ She agrees with her performer on an image and they write it down to create a structure, ‘a living score’. The resulting piece is only for that musician, and must only be passed on orally from that player to another, not by a written score. She has said of these works, ‘There are no lyrics, but each piece tells deep stories.’

Perhaps the key to unlocking Radigue’s elusive, shimmering art lies in its name, Occam, from the Medieval monk William of Ockham, who argued that in the face of multiple options, the simplest choice is usually the best.

‘‘I like musicians to choose an image from his or her own country: we all have a special place associated with water. Who hasn’t meditated in front of an ocean, a river or waterfall?’’

This event is supported by the Ambache Charitable Trust: raising the profile of music by women.

Recommended articles

John Metcalfe with the Xylem Orchestra 

Q&A

Composer, producer and arranger to the likes of U2, Coldplay, Peter Gabriel and Blur, New Zealander John Metcalfe makes a…

Read the article

Sound Unwrapped – autumn season

Feature

Welcome back to Sound Unwrapped, our series exploring spatial dimensions in live performance and immersive sound artists. Read on to…

Read the article

Explore Ensemble & Lotte Betts-Dean

Interview

Kurt Cobain, spatial collages and synths translated. Nicholas Moroz, Artistic Director of Explore Ensemble, talks to Helen Wallace about the…

Read the article

2023 in 10 events, introduced by Rosie Chapman

Feature

We asked Head of Artistic Planning Rosie Chapman to introduce 10 Kings Place events she will not be missing this year……

Read the article

2023 in 10 events, introduced by Helen Wallace

Feature

We asked Executive & Artistic Director Helen Wallace to introduce 10 Kings Place events she will not be missing this…

Read the article

Our highlights from 2022

Feature

From exquisite choral music through to Gaelic folk, Afro psychedelica and a Hot Fuzz reunion, 2022 has seen an extraordinary…

Read the article

d&b Soundscape at Kings Place

Feature

Soundscape represents the future of the live sound experience.

Read the article

Labour exchange

Feature

Joe Muggs introduces the shapeshifting work of Space Afrika, aka Joshua Inyang and Joshua Reid, Artists in Residence for Sound…

Read the article

Electric Dreamer

Interview

Jude Rogers introduces Hannah Peel, composer, performer, curator and broadcaster, and Artist in Residence for Sound Unwrapped

Read the article

Jackie Kay - Scotland Unwrapped

Feature

Jackie Kay CBE is one of Scotland’s foremost poets and novelists, and a guest curator for Scotland Unwrapped. Here she…

Read the article