Terry Riley: Reed Streams/LInfonie
- In C (Mantra) (organ of Corti 2)
Of the three orthodox sons of NY minimalism
- Riley, Reich & Glass - Ive always found Terry
Riley the most interesting. Thus...I was v.intrigued to
hear of organ of Cortis reissue series, making available
his formative recordings - many never before available.
Bought the first two together and, Id have to say...the
performance that (completely) blew me away didnt
even feature the (esteemed) Mr Riley as a player!
Hence, this review...
To be sure, the reed organ material comprising the first
1/3 of this disc is great...it puts (physical/human) flesh
upon Rileys early keyboard approach - and is damn-well
required listening for anyone that wants to get some feel
for it (but...try listening to Nathan Abshires Shamrock,
however, for a roots parallel to same), whilst the second
section is even better, and explains just
why he (mainly) switched to reeds...but, still - the last
block of this particular cd is just purely essential...to
anyone (in whatever sphere) that wants/needs/hopes to
strip instrumental music back to its core, so as to learn
what (genuinely) counts re same...
LInfonie in C (Mantra) is - simply
- something else. In 1970, a bunch of Canadian kids decided
to rework Rileys 1964 opus into some kind of Rock/Arkestra/Big
Band epic...and - probably because they genuinely went
for it (and ignored rules...but still, at
base, respected the hard formal elements underlying Rileys
original conception) the result was a masterpiece.
Part of what they seem to have done was orchestrate
some of the combinatory effects in the original...thus
highlighting same, and making the result much easier to
latch onto for naive listeners. Otherwise, they appear
tove struck a near-perfect balance between the poles
of adaption & originality...
Play it loud...no, very LOUD...and, youll easily
hear/feel the deep conjunction between all the kinds of
musics that they drew upon to produce this - fed through
Rileys brilliant blueprint.
So...ifn youve ever wondered what actually
played (as opposed to merely performed) minimalism
of this school was truly capable of, in terms of intensity
and feel...then, look no further. This is (so far) definitely
the disc to pick...
John Henry Calvinist