September 24th

Eliane Radigue's Naldjorlak

Complete Cycle

Charles Curtis, cello
Bruno Martinez , basset horn
Carol Robinson, basset horn

Christ Church Neighborhood House
20 North American Street
8pm; $15, $9 in advance

Simply an event not to be missed: The American premiere of a significant new work by a highly influential composer performed by an mind-melting roster of international musicians. More so than almost any other piece, Naldjorlak demands to be heard live. The resonance, acoustic phenomenon, and truly elastic manipulation of time can only truly be experienced by being in the same physical space as the performers. Naldjorlak is a blissfully sensual portrait of an instrument's sonic personality, played out over three, hauntingly ritualistic movements - the first for solo cello, the second for two basset horns (a close cousin of the bass clarinet), and the third for this trio combined.

On Thursday, September 23rd at 6pm
, join the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter and Bowerbird for an intimate discussion with pioneering composer Eliane Radigue, including her early electronic compositions for the Arp 2500 synthesizer and her most recent work, Naldjorlak. Click here for more information about this event.

After more than 30 years of infinitely discrete electronic music, Eliane Radigue abandoned her cherished Arp 2500 synthesizer to devote herself entirely to acoustic composition. Monumental in length (2h30m) but delicate due to the acoustic treatment of the pulsing and murmuring sounds, Naldjorlak was conceived as a trilogy with incredibly subtle harmonics, sub-tones and partials interacting continuously. The piece was elaborated in close collaboration with three virtuoso musicians: cellist Charles Curtis and basset horn players Carol Robinson and Bruno Martinez. The suspension of time, the dialog with eternity, the proximity to silence, an appeal to contemplation, and exceptional concentration - all that has characterized Eliane Radigue's music since 1970, is now more relevant than ever. But, Naldjorlak takes her even further on her musical journey, because with these three performers, she has found the ideal means of coming ever closer to the "impalpable chimerical" music of her dreams.

Photos by Pieter Kers.


A Portrait of Eliane Radigue (2009) from Maxime Guitton on Vimeo.

This concert is supported in part by the French-American Fund for Contemporary Music, a program of FACE, with major support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, SACEM, Culturesfrance, and the Florence Gould Foundation and by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Eliane Radigue was born in Paris. She studied electroacoustic music techniques at RTF under Pierre Shaeffer and Pierre Henry, later becoming Henry's assistant at the Studio Apsome. She has had residencies at the New York University School of the Arts, at the University of Iowa, and at the California Institute of the Arts. In 1975, Radigue became a disciple of Tibetan Buddhism. After four years of study, she began a large-scale cycle of works based on the life of the eleventh century Tibetan master Milarepa. Three recordings of this work, Songs of Milarepa, Jetsun Mila, and Mila's Joumey Inspired By A Dream, have been released by Lovely Music. Radigue's music has been performed throughout Europe and the United States. She currently lives in France, where she continues to compose electronic music and to study the teachings of the Tibetan lamas.

The cellist Charles Curtis performs a unique repertoire of major solo works created expressly for him by La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier, Éliane Radigue and Alison Knowles, rarely-heard compositions by Terry Jennings and Richard Maxfield, and works by Cardew, Wolff, Feldman and Cage. La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela's four-hour long solo composition, Just Charles and Cello in the Romantic Chord, has been heard in Paris, Berlin, Lyon, New York, Dijon, Polling and Bologna. Éliane Radigue's recent Naldjorlak for solo cello has received over thirty performances worldwide and, as part of a new trilogy, was premiered in the Auditorium of the Musée du Louvre last October. Lucier's compositions for Curtis include music for cello and piano, cello and sine waves, and solo cello with large orchestra. A former faculty member at Princeton University, and for eleven years the first solo cellist of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Curtis is now professor for contemporary music performance at the University of California, San Diego, and tours and records internationally. In the Bavarian village of Polling Curtis performs and teaches every summer in the Regenbogenstadl, a space devoted to the work of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. His performances in recent seasons have taken him to the Guggenheim in New York, the CAPC in Bordeaux, the Galerie Renos Xippas in Paris, the MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin, Dundee Contemporary Arts, the Kampnagelfabrik in Hamburg, the Emily Harvey Foundation in New York, as well as Chicago, Ferrara, Austin, Los Angeles and Harvard University. He continues to perform and record the traditional repertoire for cello, both as soloist and as artistic director of the chamber music project Camera Lucida.

Bruno Martinez was born on September 13th, 1963 in Maubeuge, France. Principal Bass Clarinetist at the Paris Opera since 1992, he has performed with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Sanderling, Myung Wung Chung, Armin Jordan, Georges Prêtre, James Conlon, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Witold Lutoslawski, Yehudi Menuhin, Valery Gergiev, Esa Pekka Salonen, Bernhard Haitink, Semyon Byshkov, and Christoph von Dohnanyi. Bruno Martinez appears as soloist and chamber musician in France and worldwide. Between 1996 and 1998, Bruno Martinez was the Principal Bass Clarinetist with the Lucerne (Switzerland) and Aix en Provence International Festival Orchestras. He has premiered several contemporary works. He is also active in feature film recordings among which as clarinet and basset horn soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra for "Alice et Martin" de A.Téchiné.

Composer and clarinetist, Carol Robinson has a multifaceted musical life. Equally at ease in the classical and experimental realms, she performs in major concert halls and international festivals (Wien Modern, RomaEuropa, MaerzMusik, Huddersfield, Archipel, Musica, Musica Contemporanea, etc.). In addition to working closely with composers, she pursues the new in more alternative contexts, collaborating with video artists, photographers, and musicians from diverse horizons. Improvisation is her passion. Carol Robinson plays all types and sizes of clarinets, including more exotic instruments such as the Lithuanian birbyne. She began composing by writing for her own music theater productions, subsequently receiving commissions for concert pieces, installations, radio, dance and film productions. Her works often combine acoustic sounds with electronics, and her musical aesthetic is strongly influenced by a fascination for aleatoric systems. Particularly interested in dance, she has collaborated with choreographers Susan Buirge, Nadège MacLeay, Thierry Niang, François Verret, and Young Ho Nam. In 2008, she was awarded a composition fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide, Italy. Her works have been recorded by the Hessischer Rundfunk, Saarlandischer Rundfunk, Lithuanian National Radio, and Radio France. A CD of her composition Billows, for clarinets and live electronics, was released by PLUSH in 2009. Other recent releases include solo monograph recordings of music by Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman, Luigi Nono, and Luciano Berio for MODE, Phil Niblock for TOUCH as well as classical music and jazz for SYRIUS, BTL and NATO. A DVD of the aleatoric musical system Cross-Currents is currently in production for the label Shiiin, with support from IRCAM. Carol Robinson was born in the United States and graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory. After receiving a H.H. Wooley grant to study in Paris, she settled in France.

Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater
20 North American Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The 100 year old Christ Church Neighborhood House has a newly renovated performing arts theater on its fourth floor. The Christ Church Neighborhood House is located just behind Christ Church in Old City Philadelphia (near the intersection of 2nd and Market). You can read more about it here.

Photos by Jeffrey Totaro


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