This program highlights a turning point in Éliane Radigue’s career by presenting her final feedback piece, Vice-Versa, etc… (1970), alongside her first synthesizer piece, Chry-ptus (1971). Created less than a year apart from one another, the compositions share an interest in delicate control, sustained tones, and infinite variation while marking the beginning of a shift from the combination of asynchronous tapes to the imperceptible transitions between sound worlds that would become Radigue’s signature.
Between 1968 and 1970, Éliane Radigue created a series of works of variable and infinite duration in her home studio in Paris. Made with three tape recorders, a mixing board, an amplifier, two loudspeakers, and a microphone, Usral, Omnht, ? = a = b = a + b, and Vice-Versa, etc… consist of microphone and tape recorder feedback, reworked through studio techniques such as slowing down and reversal of direction. Recorded onto magnetic tape meant for simultaneous playback in loops of different durations, Radigue presented these eternally mutating works under the guise of Propositions Sonores in museums and galleries, anticipating the emerging practice of sound installation. Created in 1970 as a multiple in an edition of ten for the Lara Vincy Gallery in Paris, Vice-Versa, etc… was Radigue’s final feedback composition. It is comprised of a single magnetic stereo tape with hand-written instructions for diffusion suggesting that any combination of channels—right channel alone, left channel alone, or both channels together—can be overlapped, on several recorders, at any playback speed, forward or backward, ad libitum.
Vice-Versa, etc… and Chry-ptus will be performed by Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann using newly produced reel-to-reel tape editions of the original masters, part of a series produced by Blank Forms in collaboration with Radigue for the high quality diffusion of her work.