Saturday Six: Week 011
We’ve regularly confessed our total fascination with Terry Riley – both during in-office chat and our recent BR Amsterdam session (which was amazing).
After all, he is the composer of perhaps the most defining piece of minimalist music, In C. First performed on 4 November 1964, it exemplified Riley’s elegant and pioneering grip on new technology. It consisted of 53 brief musical ‘cells’ and could last anywhere from a half a beat to 32 beats and played by any number of musicians, on any instruments of their choosing. For its 50th anniversary, tributes and reinterpretations flooded in from a multitude of directions: Glenn Kotche, Radiolab and Damon Albarn and his Africa Express team (with help from Brian Eno and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) among them.
Terry’s music exists as an endlessly folding pattern. Listening to his music emits a reassuring sense of stasis, as if being held by the sound. But there is also a great sense of adventure in his music, putting the listener in the moment and energising them as a result.
This week’s choice was a simple one then. With the Terry Riley reloop in its final 24-hour cycle, we’ve all knocked heads to ready six hypnotic, minimal and ambient golden nuggets from our backlog of sessions. Daniele Antezza and Giovanni Conti are on one perimeter and laugh-master, Laraaji is on another. Dive deep.
Laraaji & Sun Araw (The Play Zone) (London, JUN 5 2014)
Meditator, laugh-master and celestial musician Laraaji joined up with multi-instrumentalist composer Sun Araw for an extended live performance from St John’s church in London last June.
Dadub (Berlin, OCT 14 2014)
Dadub nudged starry-eyed dub into the deepest corners of techno at our five years of Stroboscopic Artefacts session in Berlin.
Wolfgang Seidel (Berlin, JAN 8 2014)
Wolfgang Seidel was one of the founders of legendary psychedelic band Ton Steine Scherben – an essential forebearer to bands like Tangerine Dream, Cluster and Mayhem (Mayhem’s guitar player was a big Conrad Schnitzler fan and travelled to Berlin to meet him. Schnitzler then gave him some music that became the intro for Mayhem’s first record). Seidel joined just after New Years Day 2014 for a piece that Schnitzler originally created for 1000 people playing 1000 tapes in 1000 tape players – meaning each concert would have been participatory and unique.
He unfortunately died before he was able to finish all tapes. On top of the performance we screened unseen video experiments that Schnitzler did in the ’60s and ’70s.
Mixmaster Morris (London, JUN 17 2014)
Mixmaster Morris is a rare breed: a sort of artist whose entire personality and worldview is channeled through their output, displaying the kind of tunnel-visioned dedication to craft that few truly master. We invited the UK’s ambient godfather down to the studio for a chat with My Panda Shall Fly and a little mix up.
Transistors of Mercy (Berlin, NOV 5 2013)
Six hours of dark and dubby modular synth improvisations including a drum-triggering inflatable bear. Brought to you by the people who are keep Boiler Room Deutschland sounding nice and crispy – our sound guys.
Julia Holter (London, JUL 21 2014)
LA-based experimental artist Julia Holter is much-acclaimed for the ambitious scope of her live performances. In the exalted chamber of St. John’s in Hackney, we soon found out why.
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