Occam Ocean 3 is an exceptional project, the result of collaboration between Eliane Radigue, French composer, pioneer of the exclusive use of continuous sounds, and three string instrumentalists, Julia Eckhardt, Silvia Tarozzi and Deborah Walker. Composed in Paris, the 3 pieces of this record were recorded in September 2019 at the Abbazia di Santa Maria Assunta, Monteveglio (Bologna) in Italy
Éliane Radigue stopped producing electronic music and began creating collaborative works with instrumentalists in 2001. Since then, she has produced over 70 works ranging from solos and string quartets to works for orchestra. She began creating occam ocean ‒ the series that makes up most of this prolific output ‒ in 2011. The individual pieces share a creative process that relies almost solely on oral and aural transmission: musicians visit Radigue at her apartment in Paris, often returning for multiple sessions before the pieces are completed.
Solo pieces are typically based on a combination of pre-prepared sonic materials from which Radigue selects sounds ‒ a process which she calls her “shopping” ‒ and a water-based image that guides the form and a ect of the piece. Ensemble pieces combine soloists from the project into many novel con gurations. Radigue often bases these ensemble pieces on new water-based images.
Radigue’s work may seem created almost as if by magic ‒ from thin air, vibrations or from zealous admiration ‒ but this is music that is made possible by the hard graft and meticulous concentration of expert musicians. Each piece requires a special kind of virtuosity that entwines precise muscular skill with extraordinary memory, imagination and patience. For musicians who have played in multiple ensemble pieces in the occam ocean series, the demands grow in nitely more complex, as one must remember many subtle differences between the different pieces.
This CD is the document of a special situation at a monastery in the mountains in Italy. It documents a version of these pieces that is co-created with a specific location at a speci c time. But the pieces may continue matu- ring as they continue to be played in di erent contexts. Like Radigue’s music that slips in and out of memory, we must allow these recordings to exist in the moment of listening but not as scores or xed objects.
This is music that resists remembering.
This is music that exists solely in the moment of its performance, that marries precision and uidity, that does not concern itself with written traces but only an indelible atmosphere of sonic transformation.
This is music that is experienced both privately and collectively, that merges our own inner worlds of perception with the exterior world of space, time, bodies, instruments, soundwaves and architecture.
This is music that covers its own tracks. It is a Japanese rock garden where beautiful patterns are created and then erased.
This music inhabits the far reaching corners of the room, bouncing o of beams and dancing in our ears, blending and merging into an autonomous mass of ecstatically vibrating sound.