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Terry Riley


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Colfax, California, United States (1935 – present)

Terry Riley (born June 24, 1935) is an American composer associated with the minimalist school.

Born in Colfax, California, United States, Riley studied at Shasta College, San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Conservatory before earning an MA in composition at the University of California, Berkeley, studying with Seymour Shifrin and Robert Erickson. He was involved in the experimental San Francisco Tape Music Center working with Morton Subotnick, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, and Ramon Sender. His most influential teacher, however, was Pandit Pran Nath (1918-1996), a master of Indian classical voice, who also taught La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. Riley made numerous trips to India over the course of their association to study and to accompany him on tabla, tambura, and voice. Throughout the 1960s he traveled frequently around Europe as well, taking in musical influences and supporting himself by playing in piano bars, until he joined the Mills College faculty in 1971 to teach Indian classical music. Riley was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Music at Chapman University in 2007.

While his early endeavours were influenced by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Riley changed direction after first encountering La Monte Young, in whose Theater of Eternal Music he later performed from 1965-66.


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  • kantfreund

    Geht runter wie Öl

    2 May 4:25pm Reply
  • Filthatmand

    Incredibly high standard!

    17 Feb 3:49pm Reply
  • DigiDan

    Let's make this the default!

    6 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Pjexaf

    Крутой чувак

    28 Oct 2014 Reply
  • petern70


    11 Aug 2014 Reply
  • aknuds-1

    Happy birthday!

    24 Jun 2014 Reply
  • innsmith

    До чего же теплая и завораживающая атмосфера.

    27 May 2014 Reply
  • floslow

    no one has made music like this man. every piece he composed is just astonishing.

    21 Mar 2014 Reply
  • shakedatthang

    Thanks to both of you for the suggestions! I appreciate it.

    11 Mar 2014 Reply
  • fergalmc

    @shakedatthang: The perfect companion piece to The Harp of New Albion is The Padova Concert which is a live recording of solo piano tuned to just intonation and includes versions of quite a few of the pieces featured on The Harp of New Albion. The Lisbon Concert is another solo piano outing but for piano in standard tuning.

    9 Mar 2014 Reply
  • ivanmon

    but i'm just a cow

    18 Feb 2014 Reply
  • ivanmon

    i really like his non-electronic stuff

    18 Feb 2014 Reply
  • aknuds-1

    @shakedatthang I made a mix where you might find piano music in a similar style (especially Lubomyr Melnyk is worth seeking out).

    17 Feb 2014 Reply
  • shakedatthang

    Has he released any similar works to 'The Harp of New Albion', preferably piano based? Or any other composer that has?

    15 Feb 2014 Reply
  • rhinowing

    reed streams is pretty sweet

    3 Feb 2014 Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    гений минимализма, без него музыка пошла бы в совершенно другом направлении. даже хорошо, что непосредственно в 60-е годы никто его творчества по большому счету и не заметил.

    31 Jan 2014 Reply
  • tothecastle

    Just bought Persian Surgery Dervishes on CD. Performance 2 sounds great but performance 1 sounds like a horrible vinyl rip, full of crackles and pops and strange imperfections. It's a real shame as the music is terrific. Anybody else had this issue?

    27 Dec 2013 Reply
  • furs_of1 - John Cale gonna sodomize you in space

    10 Dec 2013 Reply
  • gokunirvana

    Stockhausen might be the father of electronic music (or maybe John Cage). But Riley was the one who shaped it, and who gave the basis for what we listen to today.

    10 Dec 2013 Reply
  • fergalmc

    I wonder if we will ever get a a retrospective/carrier spanning anthology à la Glass Box for Philip Glass and Works 1965–1995 for Steve Reich?

    10 Nov 2013 Reply
  • All 279 shouts

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