Terry Riley News/Press Info

A great article from the New York Times written by Mike Rubin
Published Dec. 19, 2019 Updated Dec. 26, 2019
"Terry Riley’s Avant-Garde Sounds Are Still Casting Spells"

The musician and composer is celebrating his 85th birthday — and his influence on a wide swath of culture — a bit early in Brooklyn.

At 84, the musician and composer Terry Riley looks every bit the part of a synthesizer wizard. Visiting the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn last month from his Northern California ranch, his beard was a cascade of wispy white waves that tumbled onto his red scarf like an avant-garde Gandalf. But “guru” isn’t just the vibe he radiates; Riley’s influence stretches farther afield than almost any other figure in 20th century classical music. His landmark composition, “In C,” first performed in 1964 by an ensemble including Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros and Morton Subotnick, helped put Minimalism on the musical map, though he now disdains that term. “I always thought ‘Minimalism’ sounded like ‘simple-minded music,’ and it isn’t that,” he said. “It has that kind of edge to it that puts everybody off.”
To read the entire article click here.

Laurie Anderson and Terry Riley help John Zorn mutate DNA at The Chapel
David Gill September 3, 2018

Terry Riley & Gyan Riley, Oval Space, London — absorbing jazz with a meditative mood
Oval Space, London - David Cheal, August 1, 2018 - The Financial Times

"Father and son duetted on piano and guitar in an evening with a strong eastern flavour and sometimes hypnotic effect"
Click Here to read the entire review.

Terry & Gyanreview – father and son deliver gleefully chaotic minimalism
Oval Space, London - John Lewis, July 31, 2018 - The Gaurdian

"The composer, aided by guitarist son Gyan, sounds like Bach doing bebop during this series of joyously ramshackle improvisations" - It reminds us why the Who’s Pete Townshend, a fan of Riley’s work, once said “the only thing minimal about Riley’s music is the limitation of the audience”.
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Four radical and radically original pieces of music that blew up the modernist status quo in 1968

On a cold Berkeley morning early in December 1968, I cut class and joined a queue on Telegraph Avenue, waiting for Discount Records to open. The line wasn’t as long as the one I’d joined for the Beatles’ White Album a week or two before, but it was sizable and included many of the same fans. This time our impatience was for the first recording of Terry Riley’s transformative “In C.”
Click Here to read the entire review.

Sarah Cahill Honors Terry Riley in a Moving, Pristine Four-Disc Collection
Reviewed in Pop Matters

It would be difficult to find a better West Coast new music advocate than pianist Sarah Cahill.
Her mammoth four-disc recording Eighty Trips Around the Sun: Music by and for Terry Riley is a masterful celebration of the composer's work.
Click Here to read the entire review.

"Gloria Cheng and Terry Riley Reveal the Composer's Delightful Multiplicity"
Reviewed in the San Francisco Classical Voice

Back on Sept. 19, 1995, Gloria Cheng performed her first Piano Spheres recital, in which she performed the West Coast premiere of Terry Riley’s supremely beautiful The Heaven Ladder, Book 7. Since then, she’s become a mainstay of the Los Angeles series. Tuesday at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall, Cheng reprised The Heaven Ladder as part of a Piano Spheres concert devoted entirely to Riley. But what made the concert particularly appealing was that Cheng and Riley, like a musical tag team, shared the stage, concluding with the world premiere of Cheng Tiger Growl Roar, with the pair performing side-by-side.
Click Here to read the entire review.

"Terry Riley and Gloria Cheng, a piano odd couple, find the musical connections"
Reviewed in the Los Angeles Times

It doesn't take much effort to slot Terry Riley into music history. As part of the bustling experimental music scene in the Bay Area, he tossed off 53 short melodic phrases centered on C major, and instructed that they be repeated as many times as seemed suitable by members of any ensemble. He added a beat. The rest is history. This was the birth of the Minimalist movement in music, still going strong more than half a century later. "In C" has become such a classic that even the Los Angeles Master Chorale will perform it on its May program.
Click Here to read the entire review.


A Night of Songs and Music
Piano and choir recital raises funds for SightFirst Programme

KUCHING: ‘A Night of Music and Songs’, hosted by the Lions Club of Kuching North, enthralled audience members with a top-notch piano recital by the Unison Piano Duo, as well as local voices from the Dolce Chantecleer choir. According to Lions Club of Kuching North president Norman Chai, the event aimed to raise funds for their long-running ‘SightFirst Programme’, which sees members actively engaged in preventing blindness and restoring vision to the visually-impaired.

Du Huang and Xiao Hu once played a set starting with two modern pieces by contemporary composers — ‘Etude from The Old Country’ by Terry Riley, and ‘China West Suite’ by Chen Yi. They finished off with Fredric Chopin’s ‘Rondo in C Major Op 73’. ‘A Night of Songs and Music’ was sponsored by The Waterfront Hotel, The Old Courthouse, Geosurvey Consultant, and Poppies.

Organist Cameron Carpenter, Bramwell Tovey and the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave the local premiere of Terry Riley’s “At the Royal Majestic” Thursday night at Symphony Hall. Photo: Winslow Townson
A great review of Terry's At the Royal Majestic from Boston Classical Review
Carpenter and BSO provide simpatico advocacy for Riley premiere by Aaron Keebaugh

Terry Riley has always blazed new musical paths. The composer helped pioneer the minimalist style, and his work with electronics has influenced jazz and rock musicians alike. Yet he has not shied away from traditional forms. In recent years he has written a number of works for large orchestra that combine aspects of his far-reaching style. One of those is At the Royal Majestic, a three-movement concerto for organ and orchestra. Written for the organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter and premiered by him and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in April 2014, the work conjures the sound worlds of both African-American theatre and religious ceremonies in Tibet. It is at once worldly and otherworldly.
Click Here to read more…

Terry Riley performing at MOCA 2017
Minimalist music groundbreaker Terry Riley plays among buffalo, peacocks and a wet platypus at MOCA's Geffen
A nice article in the Los Angeles Times by Mark Swed

When Philippe Vergne became the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2014, he said he considered performance as “essential” to MOCA’s mission as it had originally been, before losing currency under other directors. Vergne also insisted he would not be rushed in any of his plans for the museum, taking whatever time he needed to do it right. Nearly three years later, he has begun living up to both of those promises. Thursday night the pianist and composer Terry Riley, whose 1964 “In C” instigated the musical Minimalist rage, began a short residency at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary that involves giving daily hour-long improvisations in reaction to various installations of the “Doug Aitken: Electric Earth” exhibition curated by Vergne. This is an intriguing return of the 81-year-old Riley to his 1960s experimental roots in collaborating with visual artists, composing experimental film scores and performing in art galleries, which supported experimental new music back when the traditional concert establishment would not think of such a thing. Thursday’s performance was in the Aitken cinema gallery, with Riley seated at keyboards (a Steinway and an electronic instrument) between two wide screens displaying, in mirrored images, wild animals quirkily taking over motel rooms.
Click Here to read more…

Listen Magazine 2015 - 10 Great Classical Music Moments In America


By Kyle MacMillan
American classical music has witnessed great performances and memorable debuts, such as the 1944 premiere of Aaron Copland’s ballet Appalachian Spring, or seventeen-year-old pianist André Watts bursting into national prominence in 1963 with the New York Philharmonic as a substitute for soloist Glenn Gould. But some moments were magical enough to enrapture the public at large and become part of the fabric of the American cultural landscape. Here are ten of them.

Terry Riley presents…

Terry Riley is curating a music series in his home town, the little mountain village of Camptonville California.
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Africa Espress MALI
Africa Express Presents... Terry Riley's In C Mali

Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project, which over the years has fostered collaborations between a huge number of Western and West African musicians, puts a decidedly unique spin on Terry Riley’s minimalist landmark In C.
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Terry Riley’s Aleph: Music to Code By
A fine article on Terry's latest 2 CD release on the Tzadik label from the Chamber Music Today blog.
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The Wire Salon: An Audience With Terry Riley

For this special edition of The Wire Salon, the composer of such landmark minimalist works as In C and Rainbow In Curved Air talked live on the Café Oto stage with The Wire's Tony Herrington about his life and work, from his early 60s tape loop and trance music experiments and collaborations with La Monte Young, through to his current project, which looks to expand on the legacy of Riley's guru, the great Hindustani singer and teacher Pandit Pran Nath. The discussion was followed by an audience Q&A session.

Terry Riley
click here
to listen to the interview and find out more

Talvin Singh, Terry Riley, George Brooks
Review: Terry Riley, George Brooks, Talvin Singh - Elmwood Hall, Belfast

One of the coups of this year's Belfast Festival was getting Terry Riley, the noted American minimalist composer who is now celebrating his 75th birthday, to play on the last night alongside sax player George Brooks and the Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh on tabla.
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JazzWise Magazine logo

Jazz breaking news:
Captivating Minimalism, Ragas And Spiritual Jazz From Terry Riley, George Brooks And Talvin Singh

Friday, 05 November 2010 09:30

It would have been Pran Nath's 92nd birthday on Wednesday and, to celebrate the music of the singer, the great minimalist composer Terry Riley made a very rare appearance in London as part of a short tour with saxophonist George Brooks and Asian Underground innovator Talvin Singh, during the London International Festival of Exploratory Music at Kings Place.

A concert of ragas, typically slow alap variations of the form, the concert started some half-an-hour late which seemed to increase the already heightened air of anticipation in the completely sold-out Hall One. Riley who turned 75 earlier this year, a kindly smiling presence on stage with his long white beard, twinkly spectacles and red robes, played mostly piano with some pitch bend keyboards later and sang in the most delicious deep Hindustani classical manner, particularly in the second half of the concert. When the trio moved into deep spiritual territory on songs billed as 'The Ecstasy' and 'Waltz of The Insomniacs', the concert took on a further dimension and was so jazz-inflected that at times it was like listening to music inspired by the Eastern-influenced period of John Coltrane.

Riley's trademark interlocking patterns coupled to the wonderfully searching full bellied tone of Brooks especially on the tenor saxophone and Singh's metrical alchemy on tabla seamlessly moved into areas that belied their method, a stoned soul picnic of the senses. It's no wonder that bands such as The Necks and Portico Quartet draw so much inspiration from Riley. For him to perform such a concert in tribute to his great guru Pran Nath also showed the dignity of the whole concert. Let's hope it was recorded.

- Stephen Graham

click here to read the 5 star review in Jazzwise magazine of Terry's concert at Kings Place in London with George Brooks and Talvin Singh

Terry & Gyan Riley
NPR MUSIC: Terry And Gyan Riley: Together IN C
Legend has it that composer Terry Riley was sitting on a bus in San Francisco when the idea came to him for one of the most important and influential pieces of music of the last half of the 20th century.
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Banana Humberto CD
Review: Banana Humberto

Pure, exhilarating joyousness, the kind that hits you when making music is the happiest thing you can do in the world and you're doing it head on. Terry plays here with the bassoonist Paul Hanson, the electric violist Tracy Silverman (remember? from John Adams' Dharma at Big Sur?) and Paul Dresher's Electro-Acoustic Band, Bay Area-based. Their music...what can I say, beyond my personal report of being grabbed, shaken, tickled and desensitized? Terry is mostly at the piano, motivated into cadenzas compounded from Eastern scales and polyrhythmic patterns, now and then slowing to a blues moment and, in a dazzling finale, a stupendous plunge into deep, rich Latino coloration. It seems to be Terry himself, reminiscing at Mach 10, on everything great and good and colorful that has ever crossed his horizon, and daring us all to come along. It tells us all that, at Terry Riley's age and beyond, the power to be delighted, and to pass it on, is one of the greatest possessions we can hold onto. --Alan Rich, LA Weekly 2/27/2008

Atlantis Nath CD cover
Review: Atlantis Nath
Terry Riley [voice, piano, synthesizer, midi realization] – Luc Martinez [recording & sound design on Mosque, sound design on Ascención Final Chord Rising, field recordings from India, mix and mastering] – Frederic Lepée acoustic fretless guitar and acoustic percussion on Only a Day, conducting on Remember This] – John Deaderick [spoken text on The Crucifixion of My Humble Self] – The Nice Opera String Quartet [on Remember This] – Adolf Woelfli [text of The Crucifixion of My Humble Self] – Chris Harvey [illustrations & design]
Mosque and Ascención Final Chord Rising composed by Luc Martinez. Wedding Song co-composed by Terry Riley and Luc Martinez. The rest of the pieces composed by Terry Riley.
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