A Portrait of Eliane Radigue, produced by the Austrian IMA (Institute for Media Archeology), observes Radigue in her workspace, operating her ARP 2500 synthesizer and talking about the process of composing and recording.
Eliane Radigue is a French electronic music composer that has worked extensively with the ARP 2500 analog synthesizer. She created her first synthesizer-based pieces around 1970, on a Buchla synth.
Eliane Radigue (born January 24, 1932) is a French electronic music composer whose work, since the early 1970s, has been almost exclusively created on a single synthesizer, the ARP 2500 modular system and tape.
She was born in and grew up mostly in Paris in a modest family of merchants at Les Halles. Later she marries the French-born American artist Arman with whom she lived in Nice while raising their three children until 1967, then in Paris. She had studied piano and was already composing before having heard a broadcast by the founder of musique concrete Pierre Schaeffer. She met him shortly thereafter in the early 50s, she became his student, and worked periodically during visits to Paris at the Studio d’Essai. During the early 1960s she was assistant to Pierre Henry, during which time she created some of the sounds which appeared in his work. As her work gained maturity, Schaeffer and Henry considered her use of microphone feedback and long tape loops was moving away from their ideals, but her singular practice was still related to their methods.
Around 1970, she created her first synthesizer-based music at NYU at a studio she shared with Laurie Spiegel on a Buchla synthesizer installed by Morton Subotnick. Her goal by that point was to create a slow, purposeful “unfolding” of sound, which she felt to be closer to the minimal composers of New York at the time than to the French musique concrete composers who had been her previous allies.