Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Eliane Radigue - L'Île re-sonante (France, 2005)


"For 'L'Île re-sonante', Eliane Radigue conceived her inspiration from an image: An island in a lake, in the water of which her face is being reflected. This is both a "real" image and an optical illusion. The sounds refer to the depths - the water of the lake - und the heights - the island which rises above. The composer stresses the transparency from which this piece essentially sprung and at the same time, she provides another source of inspiration: that special moment in classical music when our ear ceases to hear the preceding notes but does not yet hear those notes to come. This transient fraction of a second which is located in a "not yet" becomes considerably prolonged here. But nothing - no explanation, no meaning - is forced upon the listener, on the contrary: Everything invites him to hearken the resonance of his own interior. [...]

A tone is born from silence and slowly swells from a deep bass while a little while later, the highs emerge and play their part in a whole range of oscillations. In a shimmering chime, this high tone starts to open, seemingly alive and curling, in swelling movements. The key to the secret of this electronic tone which is literally being made alive, is the gradual addition of further frequencies to the original note, slowly giving shape to that hint of sound - until suddenly, you get the impression of hearing some kind of lullaby, a human melody, far off in the distance, shifting from one sonar summit to another."
(translated from Ars Electronica)

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