"In C (1964) is probably Riley's best-known work and one that brought the minimalist music movement to prominence. Its first performance was given by Steve Reich, Jon Gibson, Pauline Oliveros, and Morton Subotnick, among others, and it has influenced their work and that of many others, including John Adams, Roberto Carnevale, and Philip Glass. Its form was an innovation: the piece consists of 53 separate modules of roughly one measure apiece, each containing a different musical pattern but each, as the title implies, in C. One performer beats a steady pulse of Cs on the piano to keep tempo. The others, in any number and on any instrument, perform these musical modules following a few loose guidelines, with the different musical modules interlocking in various ways as time goes on. The Keyboard Studies are similarly structured – a single-performer version of the same concept."
I love this shit. He also did music for two movies (Les Yeux Fermés and Lifespan) that is gorgeous.
I'm the guy on slsk with (counting) 14 performances of "In C" in a directory. In general, I prefer smaller ( ensembles, as the structure of the piece reveals itself better. Favorites:
L'Infonie (1971) Milesy jazz-fusion
American Festival of Microtunal Music Ensemble (1988) twitchy plucked strings, in just intonation
Quebec Contemporary Music Society (1997) loopy, drastic evolution, mixed ensemble with occassional Qawwali vocals
Acid Mothers Temple (2002) Japanese psych
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