Beginning on November 18, the crow with no mouth radio podcast will be dedicated, for at least several weeks, to Eliane Radigue’s Occam (Ocean) series of compositions. The Occam music has been Radigue’s sole focus since 2011, and continues to this day.
At present there are 22 solo iterations (simply numbered Occam 1, etc.), as well as numerous Occam tributaries (named for the configuration of musicians; e.g., Occam River (two instruments), Occam Delta (three-four musicians), Occam Hexa (five or more musicians), and Occam-Ocean (large ensemble, with as many as 26 musicians).
Just when I think I have a grasp on this continually unfurling music, I discover another manifestation, a new musician, an additional performance – Jalaluddin Rumi said, You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop. The Occam compositions can be heard as discrete pieces, standing alone and entire, and resonate beautifully. Listening to the various iterations, however, suggests Radigue has undertaken a big dream indeed, a dream that has, for the past six years, involved many hours of direct, intimate meetings with the musicians involved (a prerequisite of creating an Occam piece is just that – meeting with the composer in her home for one or more sessions to gestate and, eventually, generate the work).
I will be airing the five Occam pieces that have been released to date on two CDs; additionally I will be airing several unreleased pieces in the series by musicians who have shared with me private concert recordings. Ms. Radigue has given her approval to each of these airing on the show, and they are good quality recordings.
As always, the crow podcast airs on odd Saturdays on KOWS; they are also posted as soon as they are produced to my Podomatic page (KOWS does not presently archive the shows they air); the first of the Occam programs, as well as the ones to come, can be found here.
Photo: Louis-Michel Marion (five-string double bass), Occam XIX
Title from an interview with Ms. Radigue, published in the liner notes of Occam Ocean, released in 2017 on the Shiiin imprint:
For me to begin again, it would have to be something rather huge. It is necessary to have big dreams, because along the way something must invariably be given up. The greater the dream, the more that remains. The Occam series represents something gigantic, since by nature it is never finished.