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French composer Éliane Radigue is one of the most innovative and influential female pioneers of electronic music. Born Paris in 1932 – where she lives currently- she started composing in the early 1950s working 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.
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 currently facing, should be more welcomed than ever.
The piece L’île resonante (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, presentling a tapestry of long, gradually evolving drones created with oscillators on the ARP synthesizer and with tape loops. ln 2000, 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.
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. 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 Editions Mego, Shelter Press, Black Truffle, Senufo Edition, 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.
This artist residency was made possible by a Jazz & New Music Creation Grant from FACE Foundation, Supporting French-American Cultural Exchange in Education and the Arts.
During his residency at Epsilon Spires, François J. Bonnet will compose new music to perform at Epsilon Spires at the conclusion of his visit, on Thursday, June 8th: A Rift in the Horizon’s Wall. Through Bonnet’s residency, Epsilon Spires endeavors to spark cultural exchange between Brattleboro and France, as well as illuminate French contributions to sonic exploration.