Eliane Radigue – Naldjorlak pour Charles Curtis
Student of Pierre Schaeffer, assistant to Pierre Henry, legendary composer Eliane Radigue (1932) has long been known for lengthy drone compositions like Adnos I-III and Kyema, Intermediate States using analog synthesizers. Recently she has been writing for acoustic instruments including this piece for solo cello, Naldjorlak (2005). Especially composed for cellist Charles Curtis (La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier) the microtonal tuning is based on the natural resonant frequency of the instrument. Usually the wolf tone of a string instrument is to be avoided or under emphasized; here it’s central to the work. Like much of her previous works, Naldjorlak is a humming breathing meditation of resonant sustained pitches, sometimes rumbling, sometimes drifting in the distance. The Tibetan title refers to the motion of all life toward unity.
Originally published in the Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter.