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OCCAM NOTIONS: COLLABORATION AND THE PERFORMER'S PERSPECTIVE IN ÉLIANE RADIGUE'S OCCAM OCEAN

  • Luke Nickel

Abstract

After nearly 40 years of creating recorded electronic music, for the last 10 years Éliane Radigue has created music exclusively in collaboration with performers, using solely oral and aural transmission. Focusing on the details of this ‘scoreless’ working method, this article considers the performer's perspective on Radigue's Occam Ocean (2011–), a series of 22 infinitely combinable solos and over 20 chamber pieces. Through interviews with the performers and Radigue, a composite understanding of their collaboration is reached, focusing on the emergent ideas of virtuosity, memory, images, scores, hospitality and non-hierarchy. A typical transmission and collaboration is described, and a new lens for viewing this method is proposed, the living score. The article concludes with a brief discussion of how Radigue and her collaborators' non-hierarchical model of collaboration may offer an alternative compositional framework.

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1 Rhodri Davies (harp), Charles Curtis (cello), Robin Hayward (microtonal tuba) and Dafne Vicente-Sandoval (bassoon) on Saturday, 2 May 2015 and Sunday, 3 May 2015.

2 Examples include Triptyche: the Music of Éliane Radigue, in London (2011), CTM.12 SPECTRAL, in Berlin (2012), the Festival d'Automne, in Paris (2013) and Tectonics, in Glasgow (2015).

3 A Danish artist who recently showed an installation entitled Servitudes at the Palais de Tokyo with music inspired by Radigue (2015).

4 A French multidisciplinary artist who created the performance SYSTEMA OCCAM, for a composition by Éliane Radigue (2013).

5 See Bernard Girard, Entretiens avec Éliane Radigue (France: Éditions Aedam Musicae, 2013), Thibaut de Ruyter, ‘Jamais la même chose, ni tout a fait une autre’, in Éliane Radigue: Portraits Polychromes, ed. Daniel Teruggi et al (Paris: INA, 2013) and Max Dax, ‘Éliane Radigue, an Interview’, in Electronic Beats (2012) http://www.electronicbeats.net/eliane-radigue-an-interview/.

6 Charles Curtis, ‘Éliane Radigue et Naldjorlak’, in Éliane Radigue: Portraits Polychromes.

7 Éliane Radigue – Virtuoso Listening, directed by Anaïs Prosaïc (2011; Stanmore, UK: Wienerworld, 2013), DVD.

8 See Appendix 2, Occam Ocean discography

9 See Appendix 1 for a complete list of Occam Ocean solo pieces and the performers with whom they were created

10 There are currently over 20 ensemble pieces in Occam Ocean; but the series is not complete and will be continually added to by Radigue and her collaborators. It should be noted that Radigue has decided never to mix electronic and acoustic instruments in the ensemble pieces.

11 All Occam River pieces are for two instruments; Occam Delta are for three or four instruments; Occam Hexa are for five or more and Occam Ocean denotes a large ensemble.

12 Bernard Girard, Entretiens avec Éliane Radigue (France: Éditions Aedam Musicae, 2013), p. 89.

13 Carol Robinson in conversation with the author, 12 July 2015.

14 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

15 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

16 Dominic Lash in conversation with the author, 4 March 2015.

17 Robinson in conversation with the author, 12 July 2015.

18 Girard, Entretiens avec Éliane Radigue, p. 86.

19 Girard, Entretiens avec Éliane Radigue, p. 86.

20 Pia Palme in conversation with the author, 6 July 2015.

21 Éliane Radigue (2011), quoted in ‘Éliane Radigue, Occam Ocean’, in Interpretations, ed. Julia Eckhardt and Eveline Heylen (Brussels: Q-O2, 2014), p. 74.

22 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

23 Girard, Entretiens avec Éliane Radigue, p. 85.

24 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

25 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

26 Radigue, quoted in ‘Éliane Radigue, Occam Ocean’, p. 74.

27 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

28 Radigue, quoted in ‘Éliane Radigue, Occam Ocean’, p. 74.

29 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

30 Éliane Radigue in Ruyter, ‘Jamais la même chose, ni tout à fait une autre’, p. 80.

31 This secondary transmission has not yet occurred in any known cases.

32 Prosaïc, Éliane Radigue – Virtuoso Listening, DVD.

33 Éliane Radigue – IMA Portrait Documentary, directed by Cornelia Primosch, Daniela Swarowsky, and Elizabeth Schimana (2006; Vienna, Austria: Institut Für Medienarchäeologie – Portrait #4 09), DVD.

34 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

35 Carol Robinson in conversation with the author, 12 July 2015.

36 Julia Eckhardt in conversation with the author, 3 August 2015.

37 Pia Palme in conversation with the author, 6 July 2015.

38 Nate Wooley in conversation with the author, 15 July 2015.

39 Girard, Entretiens avec Éliane Radigue, pp. 90–91. All translations are the author's own unless otherwise stated.

40 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

41 Carol Robinson in conversation with the author, 12 July 2015.

42 Angharad Davies in conversation with the author, 28 May 2015.

43 Ruyter, ‘Jamais la même chose, ni tout à fait une autre’, p. 81.

44 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

45 Robin Hayward in conversation with the author, 15 June 2015.

46 Ryoko Akama in conversation with the author, 7 July 2015.

47 Robin Hayward in conversation with the author, 15 June 2015.

48 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

49 Radigue, quoted in ‘Éliane Radigue, Occam Ocean’, p. 74.

50 Carol Robinson in conversation with the author, 12 July 2015.

51 Nate Wooley in conversation with the author, 15 July 2015.

52 Dominic Lash in conversation with the author, 4 March 2015.

53 Robin Hayward in conversation with the author, 15 June 2015.

54 Charles Curtis, in conversation with the author, 11 September 2015.

55 Carol Robinson in conversation with the author, 12 July 2015.

56 Ryoko Akama in conversation with the author, 7 July 2015.

57 Emmanuel Holterbach, ‘Peindre du temps et de l'espace avec des sons’, in Éliane Radigue, Portraits Polychromes, p. 65.

58 A Japanese artist from the Edo period well known for his many woodblock prints.

59 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

60 Carol Robinson, interview by Bernard Girard, ‘Çe n'est pas le son qui devient expression …’, in Entretiens avec Éliane Radigue, p. 108.

61 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

62 Rhodri Davies in conversation with the author, 21 May 2015.

63 Carol Robinson in conversation with the author, 12 July 2015.

64 Nate Wooley in conversation with the author, 15 July 2015.

65 Angharad Davies in conversation with the author, 28 May 2015.

66 Paul Schütz, ‘Surround Sound’, in Frieze Magazine, Issue 142 (October 2011) http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/surround-sound/.

67 Charles Curtis in conversation with the author, 11 September 2015.

68 Rhodri Davies in conversation with the author, 21 May 2015.

69 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

70 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

71 Éliane Radigue, ‘Pour répondre à le demande de Julien’, in Portraits Polychromes no. 17, ed. Daniel Teruggi et al (Paris: INA, 2013).

72 Curtis, ‘Éliane Radigue et Naldjorlak’, p. 95.

73 Robin Hayward in conversation with the author, 15 June 2015.

74 Nate Wooley in conversation with the author, 15 July 2015.

75 Ryoko Akama in conversation with the author, 7 July 2015.

76 Angharad Davies in conversation with the author, 28 May 2015.

77 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

78 Nate Wooley in conversation with the author, 15 July 2015.

79 Julia Eckhardt in conversation with the author, 3 August 2015.

80 Robin Hayward on in conversation with the author, 15 June 2015.

81 Éliane Radigue in conversation with the author, 12 August 2015.

82 Charles Curtis in conversation with the author, 11 September 2015.

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OCCAM NOTIONS: COLLABORATION AND THE PERFORMER'S PERSPECTIVE IN ÉLIANE RADIGUE'S OCCAM OCEAN

  • Luke Nickel

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