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Radigue, Eliane / Frederic Blondy: Occam XXV (Organ Reframed)

Commissioned by Organ Reframed, the organ-only experimental music festival curated by Scottish composer/performer and London's Union Chapel organ music director Claire M Singer, this piece of deep overtones ascending through octaves was developed with organist Frédéric Blondy at the Église Saint Merry in Paris, this specially packaged release captured at the Union Chapel festival concert in 2020.

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Designed by Philip Marshall this special edition compact disc is the first in the series of Organ Reframed releases. Packaged in a matt A5/DVD style digipack it also includes a full colour 16 page booklet containing text from Éliane Radigue, photographs of her writing Occam XXV in Paris and of the 1877 Henry Willis organ at Union Chapel.

UPC: 5050580758551

Label: Organ Reframed
Catalog ID: OR1CD
Squidco Product Code: 31678

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: UK
Packaging: DVD Digipack w/ booklet
Recorded at Union Chapel, in Islington, London, UK, on January 8th, 2020 by Daniel Halford.


Eliane Radigue-composer

Frederic Blondy-organ

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Artist Biographies:

"Eliane Radigue was born in Paris, France. She studied electroacoustic music techniques at the Studio d'essai at the RTF, under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry (1957-58). She was married to the artist, Arman, and devoted ten years to the education of three children, deepening classical music studies and instrumental practice on the harp and piano at the same time. In 1967-68 she worked again with Pierre Henry, as his assistant at the Studio Apsome.

Radigue worked for a year at the New York University School of the Arts in 1970-71. Her music, its source an Arp synthesizer and medium recording tape, attracted considerable attention for its sensitive, dappled purity. She was in residence at the electronic music studios of the University of Iowa and California Institute of the Arts in 1973.

Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist in 1975, Radigue went into retreat, and stopped composing for a time. When she took up her career again in 1979, she continued to work with the Arp synthesizer which has become her signature. She composed Triptych for the Ballet Théâtre de Nancy (choreography by Douglas Dunn), Adnos II & Adnos III, and began the large-scale cycle of works based on the life of the Tibetan master, Milarepa.

In 1984 Radigue received a "bourse à la creation" from the French Government to compose Songs of Milarepa, and a "commande de l'état" in 1986 for the continuation of the Milarepa cycle with Jetsun Mila.

Notoriously slow and painstaking in her work, Radigue has produced in the last decade or so on average one major work every three years. Very recently, in response to the demands of musicians worldwide, she has begun creating works for specific performers and instruments together with electronics. The first of these was for bass player Kaspar Toeplitz, and more recently the American cellist Charles Curtis.

Performances of her music have taken place at galleries and museums such as the Salon des Artistes Decorateurs (Paris), Foundation Maeght (St. Paul de Vence), Albany Museum of the Arts (New York), Galerie Rive Droite (Paris), Gallery Sonnabend (New York), Galerie Yvon Lambert (Paris), and Galerie Shandar (Paris); at festivals including the Festival de Como (Italy), the Festival d'Automne a Paris, Festival Estival (Paris), International Festival of Music (Bourges, France); and at the New York Cultural Center, Experimental Intermedia Foundation (New York), The Kitchen (New York), Columbia University (New York), Vanguard Theatre (Los Angeles), LACE (Los Angeles), Mills College (Oakland), University of Iowa, Bennington School of Music, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the NEMO Festival (Chicago 1996). She has appeared on many broadcast programs including France Culture, France Musique, distribution via satellite covering over 50 stations in the U.S. including special programs on KPFK (Los Angeles) and KPFA (San Francisco).

Radigue currently lives in France, where she continues to compose electronic music and study the teachings of the Tibetan lamas. She returns to the United States periodically to present programs of her electronic works."

-Lovely Music (

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"Frédéric Blondy Born in Bordeaux in 1973.

On completing his studies in Mathematics and Physics at Bordeaux University, Frédéric Blondy dedicated himself full time to music, firstly as a jazz pianist and subsequently as a student at the Bordeaux National Conservatory where he studed piano, harmony, analysis and composition. Since moving to Paris he has worked with Marie-Christine Calvet at the "International Piano Center", refining a body-based approach to the instrument.

As musician, Frédéric Blondy has performed in many festivals and venues in Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia, working with, amongst others Paul Lovens, Rhodri Davies, Lê Quan Ninh, Michel Doneda, Joëlle Léandre, Urs Leimgruber, Thomas Lehn, Daunik Lazro, Radu Malfatti, John Tilbury, Otomo Yoshihide, Mats Gustafsson,.... and developed a thorough work with ensembles like Hubbub, Ethos.

As composer, he wrote music for films, videos, and danse and works with several ensembles.

In 2011 he created the Orchestre de Nouvelles Créations, Expérimentations et Improvisations Musicales (ONCEIM - ensemble of 30 musicians) to develop links between improvisers skills and written music. He is actually artistic director and composer for this ensemble.

He runs for several years a regular workshops on improvisation and contemporary sound practices, first at the Instants Chavirés then as part of the Rendez-Vous Contemporains of Saint Merry.He is a regular speaker at the Cité de la Musique in Paris for workshops on contemporary sound practices and new creation tools.

More occasionally he is requested in many festivals in Europe, North America and Japan to lead courses and presenting lectures aboutimprovisation and contemporary sound practices.

He has made almost twenty recordings published on different European labels. He is a regular guest on national radio for concerts or to participate in broadcasts. His concerts are regularly recorded and broadcast by national radios : France Musique, SWR, BBC,...

He is also involved in the promotion of improvised and contemporary music as well as visual arts through Rendez-Vous Contemporains of Saint Merry and the festival Crak in Paris inviting international artists for concerts, performances, screenings, meetings..."

-Frederic Blondy Website (

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track listing:

01. Occam XXV (44:29)
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In 2018 experimental festival Organ Reframed commissioned Éliane Radigue to write her first work for organ, 'Occam Ocean XXV'. Radigue worked closely with organist Frédéric Blondy at the Église Saint Merry in Paris before transferring the piece to Union Chapel for its premiere at Organ Reframed on 13 October 2018. The recording on this compact disc was made at a private session at Union Chapel on 8 January 2020.

'Occam XXV' inaugurates the very special record series of works exclusively commissioned by Organ Reframed, the organ-only, one of a kind experimental music festival, carefully curated by Scottish composer/performer and London's Union Chapel organ music director Claire M Singer.

Paris-born Éliane Radigue is one of the most innovative and influential living composers of all time. After working under Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry in the late 1950's/early 60's she mainly worked with tape before developing a deep relationship with modular synthesis in the early 1970's. Over the next three decades she pushed her own conceptions of musicality forward developing a deep relationship with her ARP 2500. Through endless exploration and drawing on her personal journey as a practicing Buddhist she created an entirely new landscape of experimental sound. In the early 2000's she made an extraordinary shift into writing predominantly for acoustic instruments.

'Occam XXV' is the latest chapter of Radigue's broader series of works Occam Ocean which she has been composing in the last decade. Carefully selected by Radigue she has closely collaborated with various extremely experienced yet sensitive instrumentalists. For Occam XXV Radigue collaborated with pianist, organist, composer, improviser, artistic director of the Orchestra of New Musical Creation, Experimentation and Improvisation (ONCEIM) Frédéric Blondy, which is their second collaboration in the Occam Ocean series. 'Occam XXV' premiered in 2018, and was later recorded privately in 2020 at London's Organ Reframed headquarters Union Chapel."-Organ Reframed

"We live in a universe filled with waves. Not only between the Earth and the Sun but all the way down to the tiniest microwaves and inside it is the minuscule band that lies between the 60 Hz and the 12,000 to 15,000 Hz that our ears turn into sound. There are many wavelengths in the ocean too and we also come into contact with it physically, mentally and spiritually. That explains the title of this body of work which is called Occam Ocean.The main aim of this work is to focus on how the partials are dealt with. Whether they come in the form of micro beats, pulsations, harmonics, subharmonics - which are extremely rare but have a transcendent beauty - bass pulsations - the highly intangible aspect of sound. That's what makes it so rich.

When Luciano Pavarotti gave free rein to the full force of his voice the conductor stopped beating time and you could hear the richness in its entirety. Music in written form, or however it is relayed, ultimately remains abstract. It's the performer, the person playing it who brings it to life. So the person playing the instrument must come first. I've always thought of performers and their instruments as one. They form a dual personality. No two performers, playing the same instrument, have the same relationship with that instrument - the same intimate relationship. This is where the process of making the work personal begins. The purely personal task of deciding on the theme or image that we're going to work from.

Obviously, because this is Occam Ocean, the theme is always related to water. It could be a little stream, a fountain, the distant ocean, rivers. Out of the fifty or so musicians I've worked with no two themes have been the same. Each musician's theme is completely unique and completely personal. The music does the talking. This is one of those art forms that manages to express the many things that words aren't able to. Even at an early stage, all those ideas need to have been brought together."- Éliane Radigue

"Since its conception in 2016, Organ Reframed has commissioned artists including Low, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Philip Jeck, Phill Niblock, Mark Fell, Mira Calix, Darkstar, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Sarah Davachi, hailing from London's Union Chapel, ending up also in Amsterdam and Moscow. Organ Reframed will be back this year on September 16--18 with Abul Mogard, Ipek Gorgun, Anna von Hausswolff, Claire M Singer and Cabaret Voltaire's Chris Watson."-Organ Reframed

"The idea of Organ Reframed dates back to 2006 when I was commissioned to write my first organ piece. At the time I was mostly composing in the studio and was struck by the vast breadth of the instrument and how capable it was of creating timbres that were similar to what I was working with electronically. The lush acoustic quality of the sound resonating in the space was incredible and the sonic possibilities seemed endless. I felt so fortunate to have had the time to experiment and explore the instrument and realised perhaps the reason there wasn't a huge amount of experimental works being written for organ was because they are mainly housed in churches and concert halls so you really need to know someone with a key. From that point on I started composing almost exclusively for organ and since launching Organ Reframed in 2016 I am now able to give fellow artists the opportunity to explore what an incredible instrument it is."-Claire M Singer.

"Union Chapel's 1877 organ built by master organ builder Father Henry Willis is known to be on of the finest in the world. It is one of very few organs left in UK with a fully working hydraulics (water powered) which can be used an alternative to the electric blowing system. The organ is completely hidden from the listeners allowing to focus solely on the music."-Organ Reframed

Designed by Philip Marshall this special edition compact disc is the first in the series of Organ Reframed releases. Packaged in a matt A5/DVD style digipack it also includes a full colour 16 page booklet containing text from Éliane Radigue, photographs of her writing Occam XXV in Paris and of the 1877 Henry Willis organ at Union Chapel.
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