Eliane Radigue – In Memoriam-Ostinato / Danse des Dakinis LP



Alga marghen very proudly presents the last chapter from the Feedback Works documentation series, a brand new LP including “In Memoriam-Ostinato” and “Danse des Dakinis”, two previous unreleased tracks by Eliane Radigue.

Among the works of fixed duration from the feedback period, “In Memoriam-Ostinato” is the link between “Jouet Electronique” (alga marghen LP, cat. Alga029) and “Opus 17” (alga marghen 2LP, cat. Alga045), and allows us to understand the evolution of her approach. It is a measured gesture, slow, it is music without any major event, an extending state, contemplation. “In Memoriam-Ostinato” is a game of mirroring symbols which glide into a non-measured, bent and elastic, temporality. The ear ventures into it, lets itself go and gets lost.
As Eliane Radigue recalls: “This piece was commissioned for a Happening, Mémorial. It was a sort of secular procession to the castle of Verderonne, a beautiful place. The pools bordering the edifice were lit, and everyone was dressed or draped in mauve. It terminated in one of the grand salons of the castle where I played “In Memoriam-Ostinato”.”
Eliane Radigue’s working method and her aesthetic direction are evident in this work from 1969: her very own unique temporal space of sonic experiences.

Even though it bears the same name as the third part of “Adnos III”, “Danse des Dakinis” is a peculiar work in Eliane’s oeuvre.
Conceived in a short time, with all kind of tapes from the composer’s past work, it fluently shows a kaleidoscopic vision of Radigue’s sensibility for sound. In 1998 she put together a curious self-portrait in sound. The piece seems to resonate between two mountains. An echo folds time untiringly. We are in the memoir echo-chamber of Eliane Radigue’s spirit, a hall of mirrors that reflects and multiplies her, diffracting her as through a prism. Or, more precisely, reflecting her sensibility at different stages of her life.
There is a feedback ostinato conceived around 1969 and which refers to “In Memoriam-Ostinato” and “Opus 17”. All through “Danse des Dakinis” we plonge into the sound of a creek recorded at Mills College campus that brings us back to the field-recordings from the beginning of the 1960s, made on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Such elements construct “Elemental1” (alga marghen LP, cat. Alga029) as well. There are also some discreet interventions on the ARP 2500 synthesizer. It is indeed a peculiar work, which doesn’t have the same features of her other compositions, especially at that time of her compositional path.
There is an explanation for the composer producing this kind of sound material in 1998, and not limited to the sound waves of the ARP synthesizer. Invited to a workshop at Mills College in 1998, Eliane Radigue could not load herself down with her bulky instrument on such a trip. So she left with just a few tapes taken from her own collection, drawn from different periods, and composed “Danse des Dakinis” with those old elements.
There is tension in this composition, a certain wildness, an unpredictability of elements, those which are recognized as fundamental elements, which give structure to the universe. Such versatility will surprise those who know the music of Eliane Radigue, it is a unique but powerful example of her way of dealing with sound, of exposing herself with it, integrating with it.
In this Elaine Radigue is faithful to the theme suggested by the title: A dakini is a female deity in Vajrayana Buddhism or a female demon in Hinduism. Spirits of nature, they are witches, or female demons in India and the Himalayas. In Tibetan Buddhism they can be subjugated earthly deities, wrathful female forms of bodhisattvas or buddhas, or simply historic or legendary figures. The dakinis symbolize a wild and natural state and, according to a buddhistic interpretation, absence of ego or mental obstacles, nature itself revealed.
“Dance des Dakinis” is an intimate and wild symphony, alive and unpredictable, which is to be the next-to-last gesture of the composer before completely stopping her work with electronics.


> Alga Marghen