Going to start off now with a classic recording of four of Riley's works for string quartet, played by the Kronos Quartet (also going strong after several innovative decades).
The Kronos Quartet violinist, founder, and artistic director David Harrington says of the Quartet's remarkably fruitful relationship with Terry Riley, which began in the late 1970s at Mills College in Oakland, California: "There is no other composer who has added so many new musical words to our vocabulary, words from so many corners of the musical world. Terry introduced Kronos to Pandit Pran Nath, Zakir Hussain, Bruce Connor, La Monte Young, Anna Halprin, Hamza El Din, Jon Hassell, and Gil Evans". He continues, "In a crazed world laced with violence and destruction he has consistently been a force for peace. Through his gentle leadership a path forward has emerged. Terry sets the standard for what it means to be a musician in our time".
Riley says of his 35 years of working with Kronos: "Each of our projects together was launched by conversations with both David and me riffing on ideas. I always came away from these planning sessions feeling exhilarated, and these energies would soon get my pen moving toward a melody or a rhythmic pattern-or, in the case of Salome Dances for Peace, a five-quartet cycle. David has this gift, a unique catalytic effect on so many collaborators. Because of this gift, we have this astounding body of work created for Kronos over the past four decades".
Composer and performer Terry Riley is one of the founders (arguably THE founder) of music's Minimalist movement. His early works, notably In C (1964), pioneered a form in Western music based on structured interlocking repetitive patterns. The influence of Riley's hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric, brightly orchestrated Eastern-flavored improvisations and compositions is heard across the span of contemporary and popular music. Performers who have commissioned and/or played his works include: Kronos Quartet, Rova Saxophone Quartet, ARTE Quartet, Array Music, Zeitgeist, Steven Scott Bowed Piano Ensemble, John Zorn, Sarah Cahill, California E.A.R. Unit, guitarist David Tanenbaum, electric violinist Tracy Silverman, drummer George Marsh, bassist Bill Douglass, the Assad brothers, cello octet Conjunto Ibérico, Crash Ensemble, Abel Steinberg-Winant Trio, pianists Werner Bartschi and Gloria Cheng, Calder Quartet, Arditti Quartet, Amati Quartet, Alter Ego, Sounds Bazaar, Paul Dresher, singer Amelia Cuni, Bang-on-a-Can All Stars, and guitarist Gyan Riley among others.
|Terry Riley looking 60 at age 80|
To save myself time I am including scans of the brief but informative booklet notes.