Éliane Radigue, L’Île re-sonante (2000), 55’04
French composer Éliane Radigue is one of the most known female pioneers of electronic music. Born Paris in 1932 – where she lives until today – she started already in the early 1950s to work with French pioneers Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995) and Pierre Henry (927-2017) and their “musique concrète” which she developed to her own musical electronical style. The French INA’s Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris has been practicing creativity and research in the field of sound and electro-acoustic music for more than ó0 years. The only laboratory of its kind in the world for experimenting with sound, the GRM was incorporated into the INA in 1975 and has contributed ever since to its mission to preserve and enhance sound heritage.
Radigue’s music is subtle and calm, and draws on a profound compositional complexity of a continuous, ever-changing yet extremely slow stream of sound, whose transformation occurs within the sonic material itself. The music invites for at deep and concentrated mode of listening, which, with the complex challenges the world is facing for the moment being, should be more welcomed than ever.
The piece “L’île resonante” from 2000, features the instrument Radigue has worked with since the early 1970’s, the ARP 2500 modular synthesizer and her medium of choice, analog multitrack tape. The piece is characteristic of her work as it is a tapestry of long, gradually evolving drones created with oscillators on the ARP synthesizer and with tape loops. In 200ó, the piece was awarded the Golden Nica at the Ars Electronica Festival.
“L’île resonante”is Radigue’s last electronic composition before shifting her musical scope and focusing her compositions on acoustic instruments and musicians. The piece will be performed / diffused by composer and sound engineer François Bonnet, as Radigue herself will not be able to travel. Bonnet will diffuse Radigue’s electronic work as part of the festivals acousmatic program in a setup of 34 loudspeakers grouped around the audience.
François J. Bonnet is a Franco-Swiss composer and electroacoustic musician based in Paris. In addition to being the Director of INA GRM (Institut national de l’audiovisuel / Groupe de Recherches Musicales – the latter being one of the birthplaces of electroacoustic experimentation in the late 1950’s), François J. Bonnet is also a writer and theoretician: his books “The Order of Sounds: A Sonorous Archipelago”, “The Infra-World”, and “After Death” are published in English by Urbanomic. He is also the author of the manifesto “The Music to Come”, published by Shelter Press in 2020, and the co-editor of the “SPECTRES” series of publications, a joint project of INA GRM and Shelter Press. As a musician, Bonnet often works under the project name Kassel Jaeger. He has collaborated with artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Giuseppe Ielasi, Stephan Mathieu, Stephen O’Malley, Jim O’Rourke, Akira Rabelais, James Rushford or Gisèle Vienne. Kassel Jaeger’s works are a complex balance between concrète experimentalism, ambient noise, and electroacoustic improvisation. He has released several albums on various labels such as Shelter Press, Black Truffle, Editions Mego, Senufo Editions, etc. While his own music has been played in renowned venues and festivals all over the world, François J. Bonnet has been working closely with groundbreaking composer and electronic music pioneer Eliane Radigue, and has been performing regularly her electronic music in concert.
Photo: François J. Bonnet, photo by Jean-Baptiste Garci