Terry Riley - keyboards, piano.
Riley is one of the granddaddies of Minimalism. His early music, In C and the two works on this disc, brought to light the musical possibilities of rapid-fire notation and shifting sonic textures to a new form of music. Riley has done this primarily through electronic keyboards and computer technology. The composer plays all the instruments on this extraordinary disc: electric organ, electric harpsichord, "rocksichord," dumbec, tambourine, and soprano saxophone. The music is spooky and hypnotic and is an early masterpiece in the genre.
- A Rainbow In Curved Air [18:40]
- Poppy Nogood And The Phantom Band [21:40]
It belongs in the collections of anyone interested in late 20th century American music.
Rainbow is a gentle, melodic, flowing piece, which swirls like a psychedelic dance. It features the use of Riley's "time Lag accumulator," a two-tape deck delay system. Rainbow features delayed electric organ, harpsichord, and the rocksichord with dumbek providing a sparse rhythmic section.
This intoxicating and seeming unending repetition of this music became somewhat of a cult favorite with the '60's counter-culture. His composition In C is often credited with launching the minimalist movement, and Rainbow, meant to simulate his all-night improvised concerts, underscores the similarities between minimalism, psychedelia, and spacemusic. The repeating cycles of minimalism are reflected in Eno's tape loops, Tangerine Dream's sequencers and even Mike Oldfield's cycling structures.
This hypnotic piece is a good introduction to Terry Riley's work which integrates repetition, improvisation, drones, classical Indian ragas, alternate tunings and electronics.
2002. New Age Voice. No #8 in top 25 of Ambient albums
When I hear this song, I am taken away to distant suns with psychedelic worlds. Colors explode and wash together in a maelstrom of unrestrained joy. I think of the persistent beats of distant pulsars guiding the way for a whole humanity reaching across the great expanse of space to discover places and ideas not yet even dreamed of in this world.
2003. Rich / America