Hello Terry Riley: James Holden, Koreless, Luke Abbott
Thursday 9 April 2015 / 19:30, Barbican Hall
Tickets: £15 – 30
Three artists at the forefront of today’s British electronic music scene pay homage to one of their greatest influences: American pioneering composer Terry Riley. James Holden,Koreless and Luke Abbott present their own Riley-inspired pieces, using maths as their starting point and exploring numerical music systems and chaos and stasis theories. Their compositions represent the artists’ own personal response to the music of the American innovator, using the sound of especially-designed chaotic sequencers, synthesisers, modulated delay effects and pulsating string players.
James Holden said: “In retrospect, all my music has owed some debt to Terry Riley, even before I knew who he was. Of all the ‘minimalists’ his approach to stasis through repetition most resonated with me. But where he used tape loops and then rules-based composition to create incomprehensible detail within stasis, I use chaos theory and numerical musical systems towards the same end. In tribute to Terry I’ve built a pair of chaotic sequencers. Their parameters form a high-dimensional space, and the set of all musically interesting parameters form a (subjective) fractal inside this space. My piece Outdoor Museum Of Fractals will be a very slow tour of some landmarks in this fractal, with tabla player Camilo Tirado as co-pilot: a slow tilt of the head to inspect the arpeggio from a slightly different perspective, with thanks offered up to the man who gave musicians after him permission to move so slowly.”
Koreless said: “My piece Cycles I is based around independent regular pulses played by multiple string players. It is an exploration into continuous timing systems following simple mathematical principles. The results are precise, dense and complex rhythmic cycles that can be repeated indefinitely. Computer control of the players themselves allows these very fragile rhythmic patterns to be actualised, essentially making the players “part of the machine”
Luke Abbott said: ” Terry’s music exists in my mind as an endlessly unfolding pattern. Listening to his music gives me a reassuring sense of stasis, as if being held by the sound. But there is also a great sense of adventure in his music, it puts you in the moment and energises you. In my piece Five Hundred and Fifty Five Hz, I will be attempting to respond to these feelings and ideas through the use of synthesisers, a modulated matrix mixer and a gong.”
Hello Terry Riley was initiated and co-commissioned by Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, as part of the World Minimal Music Festival (April 8-12) where it will be performed on Satuday 11 April in presence of Terry Riley.
Produced by the Barbican