Julia Eckhardt & John McCowen: OCCAM



Sunday 17th of October at 8 pm at Hafnarborg. Violist Julia Eckhardt and John McCowen, composer and performer, offer an evening of solo music which invites us to experience the broad spectrum of listening. Julia Eckhard performs Éliane Radigue’s OCCAM IV, a work which is written especially for her. Radigues work unfolds an intensity that is at once subtle and monumental, where vibrant life thrives beneath the still surface of the sounds.

Julia will as well perform her own work Mother Viola (Study #1) where the music and the listening shift between language and sound.

In his solo work, Models of Duration, John McCowen extends the soundscape of his instrument and exposes what it seems to be as a microscopic life that thrives within the sounds.

The concert is held in collaboration with Phonemes – concert series at Hafnarborg, which is dedicated to contemporary music.

The event is supported by Tónlistarsjóður and the French Embassy in Iceland.

Éliane Radigue (born 1932 in Paris) is considered one of the most innovative and influential contemporary composers, from her early electronic music through to her acoustic work of the last fifteen years. Influenced by musique concrète and shaped by regular sojourns in the United States, where she discovered analogue synthesisers, her work unfolds an intensity which is at once subtle and monumental. Through her deep reflection on sound and listening, not only her music but also her working methods have come to shape a widely resonating set of new parameters for working with sound as musical material.


John McCowen is a composer & performer focusing on extending the possibilities of the clarinet. John embraces drones, different tones, and beating harmonics as a means to extrude the dimensions within this acoustic sound source. His work has been described by The New Yorker as “the sonic equivalent of microscopic life viewed on a slide”. His music has been released on Edition Wandelweiser, International Anthem, Astral Spirits, Sound American, as well as others. John was a 2017 & 2019 artist-in-residence at Lijiang Studio in Yunnan, China, and also the 2020 artist-in-residence at ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn, NY. He currently resides in Reykjavik, where he is a guest instructor of improvised music at Iceland University of the Arts.

Julia Eckhardt is a musician and organiser in the field of the sonic arts. She is a founding member and artistic co-director of Q-O2 workspace in Brussels, for which she conceptualized various thematic research projects. As a performer of composed and improvised music she has collaborated with numerous artists, and extensively with Éliane Radigue. She has performed internationally and released a number of recordings. She has been lecturing about topics such as sound, gender and public space, and is (co-)author of The Second Sound, conversation on gender and music, Grounds for Possible Music, The Middle Matter – sound as interstice, and Éliane Radigue – Intermediary Spaces/Espaces intermédiaires.