Eliane Radigue ‎– Transamorem - Transmortem

Important Records (2) ‎– IMPREC337


Companies, etc.



Composed in 1973 for ARP synthesizer.
Digital transfer of original tape at Lionel Marchetti's studio, Lyon.
Translation in Paris, January 2011.
Mastered at Studio Fluorescent, Lyon.
Published by SACEM.

"This series of works represents a cycle of researches with electronic sounds through Moog, Buchla, and Arp synthesizers."

Title on spine, back insert and disc: Transamorem - Transmortem (1973)

Barcode stickered on shrinkwrap.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text on Sticker): 7 93447 53372 8
  • Barcode (Reader): 793447533728
  • Matrix / Runout: ***1/1DCA30831* IMPREC337 CROOKED COVE 01
  • Mastering SID Code (variant 1 & 2): IFPI LL30
  • Mould SID Code (variant 1): IFPI F701
  • Mould SID Code (variant 2): IFPI F703
  • Rights Society: SACEM


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May 23, 2013
edited over 5 years ago
If this work was an effort to recreate what John Cage was hearing inside the sound-proof chamber (the low-hum and the high-pitched sound), then this means that Elaine has just reproduced the "sound" of silence. It's an interesting concept which, like 4'33, truly leaves you wondering what silence is in the first place.

I went to sleep with this album playing through my headphones. When I woke up, I was still hearing the piece, even when the recording stopped.

So my conclusion is: This may give everyone a headache, but if this is "music", then our heads are making a lot of it all the time.


August 23, 2011
There is never such thing as silence in a persons life. No matter what level of precaution one has taken in order to keep ones environment under control, nature makes sure that we are accompanied by some level of auditory input. John Cage’s infamous “4.33” (a piece of music where all of the performers are instructed essentially to do nothing for 4 minutes and 33 seconds) is often misunderstood as a piss-take on his listeners and music in general, but it was simply an attempt to put people in touch with the basic principle of the impossiblilty of silence. Cage had once walked through a scientifically-created “sound-proof” room built by the United States Military, only to be dismayed that he still heard a strange high-pitched sound as well as a low rumbling. He was informed by the person who supervised his visit that the two sounds that he heard were the high-end whirr of his nervous system and the slow and constant rumble of the veins and arteries pumping blood throughout our bodies. Even in an artificially-created situation where supposedly no sound can occur, our perception of reality is still affected by the constant movement circulating throughout our bodies.

Eliane Radigue is a Parisian-born electronic music artist whose primary method of composition and performance involves an Arp synthesizer and tape recordings. This is the first recording of hers that I have heard but it contains an immense beauty. A beauty that is so deeply connected to our shared experience of transience and mortality that I cannot help but compare it to the lofty aspirations of a groundbreaking genius such as John Cage. Radigue’s work taps into a primal and yet enthusiastic inner voice that is in touch with the most basic of human rhythms, heart (literal blood-flow throughout the body) and “soul” (our nervous system, apparent source of feeling and emotion). Throughout the more than hour-long masterpiece of harsh minimalism “Transamorem/Transmortem,” Radigue expresses the horror of passion and emotion in the midst of transient physicality, as well as the calmness and resolve of understanding, peace and sympathy within the changing universe. The minimalism of the sounds relates to a strict and perservering understanding of the inherent beauty in life, and in death. The energetic exchange of energy and the flow of mortality, and the emotions trapped within.

Life is not fair by our standards, but we live like leaves that fall from a tree. Our surroundings dominate and define us, and it is our choice who we will be in relation to them. The actual physical sound of this music is a very controlled and pristinely recorded sound of high-pitched treble ear-piercing drone existing simultaneously with a pleasantly shifting organic drone in the backdrop. Several sonic touchpoints this one recalls that readers may recognize are the Rodger Stella + Leslie Keffer CDr reviewed many moons ago in a past Heathen Harvest, the most far-out harsh and extreme work of Xenophobic Ejaculation/Bizarre Uproar (specifically the long and sustained ten minute sections of lo-fi drone and/or feedback), as well as some of the explicitly artier moments of Whitehouse (such as the track “Neronia”), not to mention great modern European minimalists like the great (well, I think he’s great) modern Irish electronic composer Roger Doyle. Definitely not safe or conventional by any means, the sounds on this disc are unafraid to express deep primordial truths to the listener without regard to safety or sanity. The sounds on here also express concepts of immense beauty and emotional resonance. Passage-way soundtracks, and the sound of existence wrought to life… extreme power electronics in the purest, non-vocal form, dedicated to sonic expression of an expanding internal world. Gorgeous, monolithic electronic music.

Rating: 5/5

Written by Joseph Gates