OCCAM IX – E.Radigue for Sonami (2014) excerpt

OCCAM IX

OCCAM IX 

A piece by Eliane Radigue composed for Laetitia Sonami and her Digital Spring Spyre

OCCAM IX 

A piece by Eliane RADIGUE composed for Laetitia SONAMI

Premiered 09.13.13 @ SFMEF, Brava Theatre, SF

OCCAM IX inscribes itself in a larger series of compositions entitled OCCAM OCEAN created by composer Eliane Radigue for, and with instrumentalists and composers.
 Compositions for harp, violin, viola, bass clarinet, and cello have been created with Rhodri Davis, Carol Robinson, Charles Curtis, amongst others and received critical acclaim.
 This ninth composition was created with Laetitia Sonami on electronics with an instrument designed for the occasion by Sonami, named the Electronic Spring Spyre.
 Sonami originally studied with Radigue in France in 1976. While her music took on a very different expression thru her design of unique controllers and live performance, they both remained vey close. In 2011 Sonami requested Eliane to create a piece for her new instrument. This instrument is made of springs which are being analyzed by neural networks. These “impress” the activity of the mechanical springs onto the sound synthesis in real-time. 
Their meetings took place during the winter 2012 in France after which Radigue gave her permission to premiere the piece in the Fall 2013.
 The work mode is based on an individual “image” illustrated and evoked within each solo. Each musician is guided by his or her personal “image”. This provides the essential, letting descriptive words and evocations establish a system of communication as the piece is being elaborated, and through this intuitive-instinctive process, guides the performer to the very essence of music.
 The process is akin to oral transmission of ancient traditional music.
 For Sonami, working with her mentor was a great honor and a moving experience. She was able to bring techniques and experience accumulated through these past 35 years and submit them to Radigue’s unique musical insight and vision.

OCCAM OCEAN

Eliane Radigue
The idea for this piece was initially inspired by a large mural that I saw by chance in 1973, at the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles. It showed the “spectrum of electromagnetic waves” moving from the largest to the smallest of known measurable wavelengths. Out of this large spectrum, there is a tiny zone from slightly less than 100 Hz to slightly more than 10Khz that the ears of certain species populating the planet earth, have transformed into “sounds”. 
Late, I discovered interesting parallels with several of my reflections on William of Ockham and his famous treatise “Ockham’s Razor”. Expressed most succinctly in his own words, “the simplest, the best”, it has been adapted and used by numerous artists/creators. 
Last, came the distant recollection of a science fiction story I had read about the existence of a mythical ocean. Only the titled remained etched in my memory, “Occam’s Razor”, which explains the origin of the spelling I chose. It seems in fact that the ocean, with its multiple waves, allows us to symbolically be in contact with a larger spectrum of vibrating undulations, stretching from great deep sea-swells to wavelets sparkling on a fine summer day. This explains the overall “structure “of the project.
 The work mode is based on an individual “image” illustrated and evoked within each solo. Each musician is guided by his or her personal “image”. This provides the essential, letting descriptive words and evocations establish a system of communication as the piece is being elaborated, and through this intuitive-instinctive process, we are guided to the very essence of the music. 
There will be as many solos as there are volunteers to enter into this shared experience. They become the “sources”.

Eliane Radigue
OCCAM I for harp, premiered by Rhodri Davies in London, on June 14, 2011
OCCAM II for violin, premiered by Sylvia Tarozzi in Bologna, on May 3, 2012
OCCAM III for birnbyne, premiered by Carol Robinson in Bologna, on May 3, 2012
OCCAM IV for viola, premiered by Julia Eckhardt in Bologna, on May 3, 2012
OCCAM VI for EMS synthesizer, premiered by Thomas Lehn in Berlin, on October 12, 2012
OCCAM RIVER I for birnbyne and viola, premiered by Carol Robinson and Julia Echkardt in Bolzano, on May 5, 2012
OCCAM DELTA I for birnbyne violin, viola and harp premiered by Carol Robinson, Sylvia Tarozzi, Julia Eckhardt and Rodhri Davies in Bologna, on May 3, 2012
OCCAM DELTA II for bass clarinet, viola and harp, premiered by Carol Robinson, Julia Eckhardt, and Rhodri Davies at the Huddersfield festival, on November 9 2012
OCCAM V for cello with Charles Curtis
OCCAM VII for voice with Antye Greie
OCCAM VIII for cello with Deborah Walker
OCCAM IX for “Digital Spring Spyre” with Laetitia Sonami
OCCAM X for trumpet with Nate Wooley
OCCAM XI for tuba with Robin Hayward
OCAAM RIVER II for violin and cello with Sylvia Tarozzi and Deborah Walker

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