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Terry Riley

Live At La Salle Wagram, Paris, November 19th, 1975

“The Descending Moonshine Dervishes” is one of composer Terry Riley’s most well known pieces, a brilliant swelling organ masterpiece. Though his performance of the piece 10 days later, at the Metamusik Festival in Berlin, is more well known, this version from Paris on November 19, 1975 may be superior. Essential for all fans of 20th Century minimalism and electronics. 

"Music For The Gift" is a collection of four of Riley's most significant tape works:the titular "Music For The Gift" (recorded live in Paris for Radio France, and featuring Chet Baker), "Bird Of Paradise" (a five part tape assemblage - a forerunner of "I'm Gonna Rain"-era Steve Reich), "Mescalin Mix" and finally "Concert For Two Pianos and Five Tape Recorders", featuring La Monte Young.

Riley fans and devotees will be well aware of these works, but that doesn't take away from how inspiring and arresting they are. The reckless experimentation and jaw dropping creativity at work here, in the early sixties no less, is really quite breath taking and perfectly showcases one of the most celebrated and early adopters of electronic experimentation. Most recommended! 

This unique collaboration was originally released in 1971 and saw Cale (fresh from his ground-breaking work as a member of the Velvet Underground and now finding his feet as a solo artist) and Riley (noted for his highly influential works “In C” and “A Rainbow in Curved Air”) create a work of atmosphere and uniqueness. All instrumental, with the exception of the song “The Soul of Patrick Lee”, “Church of Anthrax” was the perfect melding of the experimental genius of two unique musicians. Hard to catagorise, the album was recorded a year prior to its release by Columbia in February 1971 and actually preceded Cale’s first solo album.

Terry Riley

In C - 180 Gram Vinyl Edition

    Re-mastering by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London

    If ever there were a popular work of minimalism, one that stated its purpose so clearly it could not be mistaken, Terry Riley's legendary composition In C is the one. It is a work that needs no explanation for its pulsing sequences of pitch all centering around the 53 phases of no duration played on the note and its performances have been numerous--even if there have been relatively few recordings of it. The Bang on a Can all-stars have recorded perhaps the most innovative version of the work thus far, after Riley's own, which was issued in the 1960s on Columbia's long defunct Odyssey label. This version reads minimalism as popular music and popular music as, finally, classical. The Bang on a Can version is outrageously wonderful. This single repeated note, meditatively engaged and then played upon in modulation, is taken by Bang on a Can and torn apart, with gritty, urban vision, rock & roll energy, and pure New York street smarts. Using a wide array of instruments (from piano, vibes, glockenspiel, cello, Wu man's pipa, clarinet, mandolin, soprano saxophone, electric guitar, marimba, chimes, and bass) for 45 minutes, this mind-flexing composition is moved through the sequence of all these instrumentalists, each coloring it just a bit, moving it a tad further outside and into the future, the dynamics shift subtly and change, direction becomes fluid, and the drama becomes white-knuckle tense after such a meditative beginning and then releases again. This is the creation of language, tonal, timbral, and spatial. There is an architecture at work in this version that erects small towers of meaning in sound and piles them atop each other until a sonic Tower of Babel is finally fully erected. The pulse never stops; it never disengages no matter which instrument or group of instruments enters or leaves the fray. It is there, constant, always being born and always dying and being transformed, reincarnated as some other sound, some other phrase, but always identified by the pulse. This is more hypnotic than any rock & roll, and more powerful than any Beethoven symphony is taken in with openness. This is music -- ultimately made by a truly gifted and disciplined ensemble that share a singularly optimistic vision for modern music -- that can, and will, change your life.


    Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl. Please note, for authenticity, the sleeve will be manufactured like the original USA Sony Masterworks sleeves, gatefold, but where the LP in inserted from the inside into the right hand flap ***

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