Radigue, Éliane International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

go to content

born in Paris, she studied electroacoustic music techniques at the Studio d’Essai at the RTF under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry (1957–58). She was married to the artist Arman and devoted ten years to the education of three children, deepening classical music studies and instrumental practice on the harp and piano at the same time. In 1967–68 she worked again with Pierre Henry, as his assistant at the Studio Apsome. She worked for a year at the New York University School of the Arts in 1970–71. She was in residence at the electronic music studios of the University of Iowa and California Institute of the Arts in 1973. Her music, its source an ARP synthesizer and medium recording tape, attracted considerable attention for its sensitive, dappled purity. 

Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist in 1975, Radigue went into retreat, and stopped composing for a time. When she took up her career again in 1979, she continued to work with the Arp synthesizer which has become her signature. She composed Triptych for the Ballet Théâtre de Nancy (choreography by Douglas Dunn), Adnos II and Adnos III, and began the large-scale cycle of works based on the life of the Tibetan master, Milarepa. 

In 1984 Radigue received a scholarship from the French Government to compose Songs of Milarepa, and a commission from the French state in 1986 for the continuation of the Milarepa cycle with Jetsun Mila

She writes almost exclusively for magnetic tape, and is renowned for her drone-like, impeccably chiselled electronic sound, which seem to move in a continuous stream around the listener. Notoriously slow and painstaking in her work, Radigue has produced in the last decade or so on average one major work every three years. Performances of her music have taken place at galleries and museums such as the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, Galerie Rive Droite, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Galerie Shandar (Paris), Fondation Maeght (Saint-Paul de Vence), Albany Museum of the Arts, Gallery Sonnabend, New York Cultural Center, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, The Kitchen, Columbia University (New York), Vanguard Theatre, LACE (Los Angeles), Mills College (Oakland), Iowa University, Bennington School of Music, San Francisco Art Institute, and at festivals such as Como, Bourges, Festival d’Automne and Festival Estival in Paris as well as NEMO in Chicago. 

Radigue currently lives in France, where she continues to compose electronic music and study the teachings of the Tibetan lamas. 

Discography: Songs of Milarepa (1983, 1998, 2001), Mila’s Journey Inspired by a Dream (1987, 2002), Kyema-Intermediate States (1992), Biogenesis(1996), Trilogie de la Mort (1998), E = A = B = A + B (2000),Adnos I–III (2002), Geelriandre / Arthesis (2003), Jetsun Mila(2003, 2007), Elemental II (2004), L’Île re-sonante (2005), Before the Libretto (with The Lappetites, 2005).