EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

The influence of Tibetan Buddhism in the work of Eliane Radigue

Viviane Waschbüsch

Viviane Waschbüsch, Université Paris-Sorbonne


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French electronic music composer Eliane Radigue studied electroacoustic music techniques at the Studio d’essai at the RTF, under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry from 1957-58. In 1967-68 she worked again with Pierre Henry, as his assistant at the Studio Apsome. From 1970-71 Radigue worked for a year at the New York University School of the Arts. In 1973 she was in residence at the electronic music studios of the University of Iowa and California Institute of the Arts. 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, and Adnos III. 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. This presentation will follow and analyze the development of Eliane Radigue in her Buddhist inspired period from 1984 to 1993 and explore the realization of Tibetan Buddhist concepts in Trilogie de la mort (1988-1993), Songs of Milarepa (1984), Jetsun Mila (1986) and explain how her aesthetic points of view were influenced and transformed through these philosophical concepts.

EMS15 Proceedings