Éliane Radigue - Opus 17
Opus 17 is an absolutely essential masterpiece of early electro-acoustic, drone, and minimalist composition. A compellingly beautiful and emotive avant-garde work, this double-album contains the complete ninety-minute recording made in Éliane Radigue's Paris studio in 1970 using her pioneering tape feedback technique.
Éliane Radigue began creating musique concrète using tape recorders in the 1950s, studying with composers Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, and in the 1960s developed her experiments with tape feedback. Opus 17 was Radigue's final work composed in this style, and it is amongst her finest work.
Finished in 1970, it consists of five distinct pieces of definitive length - after several years of building “musique sans fin” (endless music) intended for ad libitum broadcast in a specific space (gallery, museum) - in which Radigue perfects her slow mixing technique, and time itself seems suspended as she artfully sculpts the physical matter of sound using echoing loops of feedback with sublime and poetic results.
Beginning with a tape recording of a Chopin piano sonata on a loop a few minutes in length, 'Etude' opens the album with this recording slowly breaking down as it is recorded back onto the loop, and this in-turn is recorded and played back over and over, until the once-familiar melody has become a chiming drone of notes resonating against one other.
The following four pieces utilise this same tape feedback technique, though the source materials are never revealed, resulting in the realisation that, rather than 'breaking down,' the sound is evolving, building, and stretching itself to a point undefined by structure, or time.
N° 17 [22:32]
- US import
- Housed in jewel case with clear tray
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