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Trilogie de la mort


(XI119 - 3 CD set from Experimental Intermedia, 224 Centre St. New York, NY 10013 USA)

One of the hidden treasures of contemporary French music is Eliane Radigue. She has not followed any of the fashions of the past 50 years in French music, and as a result, has been thoroughly marginalised, finding many more performance opportunities outside France than in it. I was at Mills College in Oakland, Ca. in late 1998, while she was in residence, and the respect that was shown for her there was highly gratifying to see. This three CD set is of her masterwork, a three hour piece realized between 1985 and 1993. Each of the three CDs encompasses a long, slowly evolving drone piece, based on ideas from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The entire piece was made on an Arp modular synthesizer - the control Radigue exercises over her 20 year old machine is phenomenal. To quote David Behrman, "In her music we traverse vast spaces, we hover over strangely textured plains, we dive into dim caverns, we listen to our own internal voices. There is a feeling of time having almost stopped. The textures and pulsations are unearthly but intimate...She has discovered things in electronic sound which powerfully affect our psyches".

(this review was first published in Chroma)

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