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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2012, 02:03:19 pm »

Four versions of In C by Terry Riley

1.  In C Excerpt
 from Rites of Summer Concert, July 4, 2011
Led by Jed Distler (toy piano), Corey Dargel and Mellissa Hughes (vocals); Peter Flin (accordion); Caleb Burhans (melodica);  Gene Pritsker (electric guitar), and others.

Audio taken from portions posted on YouTube. 

2.  In C Full version
William Patterson University New Music Ensemble
Led by Peter Jarvis
November 30. 2009
Audio taken from portions of video  posted on YouTube by Peter Jarvis, video recorded by David Saperstein.

3-5:  Full version with radio intro and outro from the Small World Podcast. 
Freeform Ensemble, Led by "Bazooka Joe"

6.  Excerpt (Doom Version)
by the group Orobous is Broken
Free download offered by group.

Score for In C included with download.

I've looked around for some freely available versions of Terry Riley's seminal work "In C", which was arguably the first major work of the "Minimalist" school.  As you all may know, the score (shown above) has 53 small "modules", and may be played by any ensemble with any instruments.  Each play is to repeat a module as many times as they wish, but once they move the the next module, they may not go back.  One musician typically provides a rhythmic pulse of a C octave in 8th notes.  Riley also encouraged sharing of the score.  The result is that no two versions of "In C" are every the same, and each group and ensemble can put its own creative stamp on the work.   My current favorite commercial version is by the group Bang on a Can, but there are so many directions one can go with this work.

Some words about the versions:

From a review of the Rites of Summer concert, July 3 2011, New York Times
2011 review: Summertime Anarchy but of the Guided Kind

Posted on July 4, 2011 by Blair
Published: July 3, 2011

What better time to kick off a contemporary-classical concert series? The Rite of Summer music festival, assembled by the pianists Pam Goldberg and Blair McMillen, is relatively modest in its first year: three free concerts in three months. On Saturday afternoon the series got off to a merry start with two performances of “In C,” Terry Riley’s Minimalist milestone from 1964, by roughly 40 players from some of New York’s most industrious new-music ensembles.

In a way you could hardly ask for a piece better suited to celebrating Independence Day. “In C” consists of 53 short musical motifs that can be repeated an arbitrary number of times or sometimes skipped outright. A rendition can last 20 minutes or several hours. In effect Mr. Riley’s work boils liberty, equality and community down to a blissful hippie ideal: If it feels good, do it.

That is not to say that the work is entirely chaotic. One instrument, here a glockenspiel, is assigned to play a steady, ceaseless stream of octave C’s. And with a conductor the piece will often show a coordination and nuance that can otherwise be lost.

During the first performance there was no question that Jed Distler, a pianist, composer and concert organizer, was shaping what was heard by an audience of a few hundred hardy listeners and many more passersby. An old hand at “In C,” Mr. Distler has led previous accounts at the Cornelia Street Café and on the street outside that club. Facing the ensemble at a toy piano he plunked and patted sporadically, Mr. Distler raised a finger to summon conspiratorial hushes, and leapt, arms outspread, to urge climaxes.

No two performances of “In C” are alike, and this one stood out for its vibrant, variegated colors: the voices of Corey Dargel and Mellissa Hughes; Peter Flint’s accordion; Caleb Burhans’s melodica; subtle percussion from a clutch of players. Probably no one had more fun than the guitarist Gene Pritsker, who provided slick wah-wah licks and pinched fuzz-tone riffs, and ran an can't-tell-you along the strings as an impromptu slide to waft Pink Floyd-style space probes into the summer air.

Peter Jarvis

Director of the New Music Series at William Paterson University and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Peter Jarvis is active as a teacher, percussionist, conductor, director, clinician, composer and copyist. He has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor with any number of new music groups in New York, New Jersey, throughout the USA and abroad. Countless pieces have been composed for him and/or his ensemble by composers from all over the world. He has premiered well over 100 pieces and has recorded extensively for, NAXOS, Kotch International, CRI and several other recording labels. His compositions are published by Calabrese Brothers Music.

the Freeform Ensemble perform Terry Riley's In CThis episode is work safe.California composer Terry Riley launched what is now known as the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary classic In C in 1964. This seminal work provided the conception for a form comprised of interlocking repetitive patterns that was to change the course of 20th century music and strongly influence the works of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams as well as rock groups such as The Who, The Soft Machine, Curved Air, Tangerine Dream and many others.When I first started having bands on my show at WMFO I was heavily into hardcore, punk, industrial, hip hop, anything that was aggro and in your face. But after a few years I got bored with that format and embraced my freeform roots. The live performances I had on my show reflected that change. I started inviting blues or jazz or pop bands to play over the air.At one point I wanted to have a small orchestra perform a piece over the air. But the challenge was what piece could I choose that a bunch of musicians could easily learn that didn't require that they be a virtuoso on their instruments?A friend suggested Terry Riley's In C.Let me explain how In C works so you can appreciate this month's installment of the Small World Studio Sessions.In C is an aleatoric musical piece composed by Terry Riley in 1964. By aleatory we mean music in which some element of the composition is left to chance or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performers. In the case of In C, the piece can be performed by a group of 35 musicians or smaller. As the title suggests, the piece is in the key of C.From Wikipedia:"In C consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases; each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times. Each musician has control over which phrase he or she plays: and players are encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase. The performance directions state that the musical ensemble should try to stay within two to three phrases of each other. The phrases must be played in order, although some may be skipped. As detailed in some editions of the score, it is customary for one musician ('traditionally played by a beautiful girl,' Riley notes) to play the note C (in octaves) in repeated eighth notes. This drone functions as a metronome and is referred to as 'The Pulse.'"In C has no set duration; performances can last as little as fifteen minutes or as long as several hours, although Riley indicates 'performances normally average between 45 minutes and an hour and a half.'"The concept of In C was exciting to me and after hearing a recording of In C I decided to form an ensemble to perform the piece.I roamed the streets of Boston and Cambridge for a month, inviting musicians to play In C. Some were friends. Some were friends of friends. Other were street performers. In the end I had gather 15 musicans to perform In C.The next stage was to rehearse In C. Getting that many people together at once is a challenge, particularly with musicians. I decided to break up the ensemble into two groups and had them rehearse at my friend Matt's place, since he had enough room for that many musicians.Finally we were ready.One Saturday night I had everyone meet at WMFO to perform In C in our small recording studio. Getting a band of five musicians in there was a challenge but to have an ensemble of 15 people, plus all their instruments and the microphones, was almost more of a feat then putting the ensemble together.I wanted to be a purist about this performance but I compromised by inviting musicians who played the electric guitar and the keyboard. As long as they staid true to the score I would be happy. Unfortunately, at one point the guitar player decided to improve during the performance. In the end it wasn't a terrible thing and I'm just glad we managed to pull of In C.As I mentioned earlier, a beautiful girl is supposed to function as the metronome for the score. Despite our best efforts, we had forgotten that essential part of In C.Instead of a beautiful girl we had a bearded man act as the metronome. The pulses were played by Michael Bloom, who volunteered to act as the metronome by playing the pulses on his marimba.Michael had rented a station wagon so he could transport his marimba to the station. Then he had to lug it up three flights of stairs into the studio. His marimba was like a large xylophone so having Michael just play the pulse was a waste but someone had to do it. Thank you again, Michael.I was a deejay at WMFO for 17 years and performance of Terry Riley's Thank you again, Michael. is the moment I am proudest of. I'd like to thank Vera Beren for rescuing the performance and transferring it from a DAT cassette to a CD. I'd also like to thank all 15 of the musicians who made the performance if In C possible.

Orobous is Broken

I don't know much about this group, but they are part of the "Doom" genre of rock, which typically emphasize very slow tempo, downtuned electric intstruments, and fairly long songs. (The seminal album in the genre, Sleep's Jerusalem, for example, in a continuous 45 minute suite.) Orobous is Broken has released albums with catchy titles such as Grave Desecration and The Satanic Spear of Destiny. Although I follow some of the current underground rock scene, I can't say I am a big fan of the Doom genre.  I will give Orobous is Broken credit for making an arrangement of "In C", and also sharing it freely.  While I don't think they captured the pulse that Riley had in mind, if they get one person to investigate the work further, I would consider it a success.

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All download links I have posted are for works, that, to  my knowledge, have never been commercially released in digital form.  Should you find I've been in error, please notify myself or an Administrator.  Please IM me if I've made any errors that require attention, as I may not read replies.

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