Nomadic Night

Éliane Radigue

Retrospective dedicated to the OCCAM OCEAN

Location: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, view access map
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About the event

In the presence of Éliane Radigue.
Co-conception of the program: Éliane Radigue and Carol Robinson.

After several collaborations with pioneering electroacoustic composer Éliane Radigue, the Nomadic Nights are pleased to present the very first retrospective devoted to her OCCAMs: fascinating instrumental pieces, which she refers to as her “sound fantasies”; bespoke compositions created in collaboration with her performers. This program has been designed with Éliane Radigue and Carol Robinson especially for the Fondation Cartier.

One needs to dream on a large scale, because, in the process of realization, one is always forced to give up something. If the dream is big, there is a lot left, and if the dream is small, there is little left. The OCCAMs represent something enormous in that they are incomplete by nature. This is what attracted me to a genre of pieces conducive to a wealth of possibilities and combinations. It prevents me from saying that I have finished, as long as all these marvelous musicians fill me with the joy of their magnificent talent – Éliane Radigue

Initiated in the early 2000s with the Naldjorlak I, II and III triptych, Éliane Radigue’s instrumental and acoustic music further evolved with the OCCAM OCEAN cycle. Unfinishable by nature, comprising solos, duets, trios... for harp, trumpet, cello, bass clarinet…, the matrix has continued to grow based on Éliane’s various encounters, commissions, and opportunities. Each piece is a moment of exchange and sharing between the composer and her musicians. Together, they are looking for a new means of intuitive communication, without the use of a musical notation system. The instrument becomes a body whose resonance is fully explored by the musician, in a discovery of the broad spectrum of its vibratory undulations. Or in Éliane Radigue’s words, a spectrum ranging “from the great deep swells to the wavelets on sunny summer days”.

What I ask of musicians is very demanding, it is not the virtuosity of speed, but the virtuosity of a meticulous and absolute control of the instrument, an extreme, subtle, and delicate virtuosity.

After several collaborations with Éliane Radigue, including the creation of three OCCAMs (OCCAM DELTA IX and OCCAM HEXA III in 2016; and OCCAM HEXA VI in 2022), the idea was born to present a retrospective of this fascinating series of instrumental pieces. There are now over seventy OCCAMs. With the help of her friend and accomplice, musician Carol Robinson, we dreamed up this program together: an instinctive and emotional selection that brings together historical pieces, seminal ones, and some “curiosities”, never presented in Paris, and which Éliane Radigue will discover for the first time with the Parisian public.

I do not deny my electronic work, although I never accomplished anything that completely satisfied me. […] On the other hand, with the musicians, I was finally able to hear for the first time a music that I call “my sound fantasies”.

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