Terry Riley, Krishna Bhatt; DuoB.Free
BE 6213-14 CD
Double Compact Disc Set
Double-CD set presenting two radio sessions recorded in Cologne in 1984, carefully remastered from the original reel-to-reel tapes, an astonishing example of Terry's tactile and meditative approach - and audio quality is just crystal! Emotive and trance-inducing, it's like finding a new, secret entrance to one of our favourite composers.
Considered one of the pioneers (along with colleague La Monte Young) of the minimalist movement, pianist-composer Terry Riley introduced the concept of endless repetition into Western music motifs in pieces like 1963's Music for the Gift (among the first pieces to employ tape looping) and his 1964 landmark In C, which was constructed of 53 separate interlocking patterns. His1967's swirling A Rainbow in Curved Air inspired Pete Townshend's repetitive synthesizer parts on the intros of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley." Riley's pioneering work in minimalism also influenced composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass, who are both credited with bringing minimalism to a wider audience through their acclaimed works in the 1970s and 1980s.
On the 1984 performance of "Song from the Old County", Riley shows the influence of the Hindustani singer and teacher Prandit Pran Nath, whom he first studied with in India in 1970, and collaborated with through the '70s. Incorporating Hindustani vocals and the sitar and tabla work of Krishna Bhatt, Riley affects a mesmerizing, meditative vibe with this marathon minimalist work.
Essentially divided into two parts, "Song of the Old Country" is a monumental work that dates back to 1978. Riley handles the keyboards while also singing the cryptic lyrics on the trance-like first raga, which develops gradually and remains in a zen-like state over the course of 43 minutes. Part II begins in more kinetic, uptempo fashion with Riley creating interlocking, pulsating patterns on his arsenal of keyboards and delays.