Terry Riley

Genres: Classical Electronic & Ambient Jazz Pop / Rock
Tags: minimalism contemporary classical avant-garde experimental classical Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links: allmusic BBC Music page discogs image IMDb IMSLP last.fm official homepage other databases VIAF wikidata wikipedia


24 June 1935, Colfax, California, USA. A former ragtime pianist on San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, Riley forged an exceptional, avant garde minimalist style which pioneered the use of tape loops and a delay/feedback system. Having studied with fellow radical La Monte Young, he completed his revolutionary piece, ‘In C’, in 1964. Here, Riley’s piano part, the pulse, strikes a uniform tempo as an ensemble plays 53 separate figures. Each musician moves at his/her own pace and the composition is only complete when every player reaches figure 53. Riley found a more widespread audience with A Rainbow In Curved Air, which comprised two lengthy compositions, the title track and ‘Poppy Nogood And The Phantom Band’. Electric organ and electric harpsichord ebb and flow in cyclical patterns, creating a mood adopted by the Soft Machine, Brian Eno, Philip Glass and a host of new age practitioners.

In 1970, Riley travelled to...

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