6pm doors • 7pm show
Terry Riley and Julian Wachner
with NOVUS NY orchestra and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street
National Sawdust launches their fourth season with a night devoted to new music from celebrated minimalist composer and Founding Artistic Advisory Board member Terry Riley, who has been lauded as a “pioneering American composer” and the “guru of American music” (New York Times). Riley’s groundbreaking compositions in the early 1960s helped create the Minimalist movement in American music, and his subsequent works forever altered the landscape of electronic music, directly inspiring musicians in The Velvet Underground and The Who.
Riley will share the stage with Artist-in-Residence and up-and-coming conductor and composer Julian Wachner. Wachner has been hailed by the New York Times as “viscerally dramatic”, and this collaboration will afford him the opportunity to hone his skills with one of the movers and shakers of classical music. Along with the NOVUS NY ensemble of Trinity Wall Street, they will perform Riley’s Madrigal (2015), Archa
California Composer Terry Riley launched what is now known as the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary classic IN C in 1964. This seminal work Provided a new concept in musical form based on interlocking repetitive patterns. It‘s impact was to change the course of 20th Century music and it’s influence has been heard in the works of prominent composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams and in the music of Rock Groups such as The Who, The Soft Machine, Tangerine Dream, Curved Air and many others. Terry’s hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric, brightly orchestrated eastern flavored improvisations and compositions set the stage for the prevailing interest in a new tonality.
While working on a masters degree at UC Berkeley in 1960, he met La Monte Young, whose radical approach to time made a big impact and the two made a life long association.
During this time Riley and Young worked out many of their seminal ideas while working with influential dancer Anna Halprin.
In 1965 he move to New York and joined La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music.
1967 was the year of his first all night concert at the Philadelphia College of Art and he began a collaboration with visual artist Robert Benson resulting in more all night concerts.
In 1970, Terry became a disciple of the revered North Indian Raga Vocalist, Pandit Pran Nathand made the first of his numerous trips to India to study with the Master. He appeared frequently in concert with the legendary singer as tampura, tabla and vocal accompanist over the next 26 years until Pran Naths passing in 1996. He has co-directed along with Sufi Murshid, Shabda Kahn of the Chisti Sabri India music study tours 1993-2000.
Terry regularly appears in concerts of Indian Classical Music and conducts raga singing seminars.
While teaching at Mills College in Oakland in the 1970‘s he met David Harrington, founder and leader of the Kronos Quartet and began the long association that has so far produced 13 string quartets, a quintet, Crows Rosary and a concerto for string quartet, The Sands (1990), which was the Salzburg Festival’s first new music commission and SUN RINGS (2003), the 2 hour multi media piece for choir, visuals and Space sounds, commissioned by NASA.
Cadenza on the Night Plain was selected by both Time and Newsweek as one of the 10 best Classical albums of the year.
The epic 5 quartet cycle, Salome Dances for Peace was selected as the #1 Classical album album of the year by USA Today and was nominated for a Grammy.
Named one of New York City’s “10 Imagination-Grabbing, Trailblazing Artists of 2014” by WQXR, music director Julian Wachner continues to enjoy an international profile as a conductor, composer, and keyboard artist. Wachner’s extensive catalogue of original compositions has been variously described as “jazzy, energetic, and ingenious” (Boston Globe), having “splendor, dignity, outstanding tone combinations, sophisticated chromatic exploration…a rich backdrop, wavering between a glimmer and a tingle…” (La Scena Musicale), being “a compendium of surprises” (Washington Post), and as “bold and atmospheric” while having “an imaginative flair for allusive text setting” and being noted for “the silken complexities of his harmonies” (New York Times). The American Record Guide noted that “Wachner is both an unapologetic modernist and an open-minded eclectic – his music has something to say”.