Important

We owe many thanks to Manu Holterbach, self-nominated manager of the tape-to-digital transfer of Eliane Radigue’s archives. As he points out, only with the advent of the AVE (After Vinyl Era) have we been allowed to enjoy long-lasting works that had remained buried for over twenty years, Transamorem/Transmortem among them. Conceived on an ARP 2500 analogue synthesizer in 1973, the monophonic tape was meant to be reproduced via four speakers placed at the corners of an empty (carpeted) room in an installation comprising the projection of faint white lights. Premièred in 1974 at The Kitchen under the artistic direction of Rhys Chatham, this 67-minute cycle of unchanging frequencies – the lower ones revolve around a B, while others manifest themselves in the shape of hyper-acute pitches – is one of Radigue’s most “inert” compositions, its few slight variations probably not even noticed by anyone unfamiliar with her music. As in every respectable statement in the fine art of vibration, a sensitive adjustment to the frequency perception is what determines the movement within each listener; playing the piece at substantial volume is obviously recommended, in order to experience the pressure of rebounding waves and cancel any fortuitous temporal reference perturbing the mental vacuum. Her masterpiece Adnos was yet to come, but the lady – how wonderful she looks in those old shots – had already reached her destination.

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