Friday 13 December 2019
The on-stage meeting between legendary composer and keyboardist Terry Riley and his son, guitarist Gyan Riley, features a wonderfully fresh musical dialogue, almost entirely improvised, which combines the mul- tiple in uences of the two musicians, repetitive mu- sic with baroque, modal jazz, Indian ragas, etc. The intimate musical understanding that connects the pair enables them to indulge in a form of remarkably owing “instant composition”, carefully working on formidable harmonic frameworks in the moment with contagious pleasure, without ever losing sight of the essential, i.e. emotion. Over 60 years of activity, Terry Riley has revolutionized the history of Western mu- sic. His in uence can be found at the heart of many musical genres (minimalism, psychedelic, krautrock, ambient, new age, etc.). However, his impact has gone further through his wild remixes of commercial recordings which foreshadowed hip-hop production by two decades, his rst pieces for ensembles such as In C (1964) which heralded the return of tonality in contemporary classical music, his exhilarating im- provisations on the electric organ which captured the imagination of the underground scene from Sweden to Argentina, and so on. Without Terry Riley, the very identity of recent western musical heritage would stumble (The Velvet Underground, Soft Machine, Steve Reich, Pink Floyd, Can,
Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno and nowadays Holly Herndon, Joanna Newsom, Animal Collective, and Oneohtrix Point Never have all claimed this lineage). A Gram- my Award-nominated creator of orchestral and string quartet works, Terry Riley has also composed for NASA, produced audiovisual installations, and lent his name to pieces by György Ligeti and The Who.
The Rileys, father and son, share the bill with the Ame- rican duo made up of singer Jessika Kenney and vio- linist/violist Eyvind Kang. High- ying collaborators (with Lou Reed, Black Mountain, Sunn O))), Animal Collective, Laurie Anderson, Annea Lockwood, Mr. Bungle, etc.), their music stands out as remarkably unique, developed into gorgeous and mystery- lled long pieces, with echoes of classical Persian, Indonesian and Indian classical music as well as minimalist and experimental traditions. In Geneva, they will perform new compositions specially created for the event.