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Baker's Dozen

Music Of The Spheres: Rhys Chatham's Favourite Albums
Danny Riley , June 15th, 2016 10:37

The veteran avant-garde composer picks records by Morton Subotnick, Charlemagne Palestine and Maryanne Amacher and more to tell Danny Riley how his music, including new album Pythagorean Dream, has evolved


Éliane Radigue – Chry-ptus
She's a French composer, but she wasn't accepted in France, and she's really considered a New York composer. Her works were very minimalist, they were music of long duration. She's 84 now and quite well known on the contemporary music scene. Another composer I met through Subotnick, and she was like my step-mom. I didn't study with her but I might as well have, knowing all her music and being influenced by her lifestyle and approach as I was. I definitely maintained a close contact with her.

Chry-ptus somehow evokes a feeling of a meditative state, but it's in no way New Age music. It puts you in a state of profound meditation, but she didn't do it on purpose. She wasn't mediating when she made it, it was just what she wanted to do. People told her there was a spiritual aspect to what she was doing so she got involved in Tibetan meditation. So involved in fact that she stopped doing music altogether, and her master said, "You should carry on with music." She asked him why and he said, "I keep hearing it in your head all the time. Maybe if you started doing it again I wouldn't have to listen to it all the time!" This priest had an insight into her head, her could hear her thoughts and music. She still meditates in the morning, and does music in the afternoon.