“In the conch formed by the flow of sounds, the ear filters, selects, privileges, as would an eye fixed on shimmering water. Only listening is required, like a gaze that is absent and double, oriented toward an exterior image that lives as a reflection in the inner universe.” —Éliane Radigue
Created in three 70-plus minute parts between 1973 and 1982, Adnos I-III is the first major, large-scale work of Radigue’s electronic period and—with Trilogie de la mort—one of two ambitious trilogies recorded at the composer’s home studio in Paris with the ARP 2500 and magnetic tape. A departure from the variable and infinite duration pieces of her early period and moving toward unprecedented lengths of engagement, the Adnos trilogy plunges its listeners into the fathomless depths that would come to define Radigue’s late style. The immersive psychoacoustic effects of Adnos I-III extend the limitless qualities of Radigue’s earlier installation work by allowing each listener to create their own subjective experience of the piece based upon spatial orientation and perceptual focus.
The series also represents a pivotal moment in Radigue’s biography. Having completed the mix for Adnos I at GERM and premiered the piece in 1974 for the Festival d’Automne in Paris, Radigue was invited by Robert Ashley to present Adnos I at Mills College in 1975. Following the concert, she was approached by a group of young French students who suggested that she was channeling energies beyond herself; they gave her the address of a Tibetan Buddhist center in Paris, which she promptly visited, becoming a devotee and ceasing to compose music. After three years of study, Radigue was prepared to sell her ARP synthesizer and end her music career, before her guru Lama Pawo Rinpoche convinced her of the value of her contributions to music which, he maintained, could be created as an offering. Returning to composition, Radigue completed Adnos II, premiering it in 1980 at Mills College. Adnos III (Prélude à Milarepa) was premiered in 1982 at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York; it is composed in four continuous movements (“Dans l’Azur,” “Danse des Dakinis,” “Traversée,” and “Ici et maintenant”) and represents the beginning of Radigue’s explicit Tibetan buddhist offerings.
Adnos I-III will be diffused using a newly produced reel-to-reel tape edition of the original master, one of a series produced by Blank Forms in collaboration with Radigue for the high quality presentation of her work.