Pioneering composer Terry Riley finds himself comfortably marooned in Japan
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, Terry Riley decided to stay right where he was, which just so happened to be in Japan.
The composer had arrived in the country in February 2020 to do preliminary work for a piece commissioned by an arts festival held on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan.
It was supposed to be the first hop on a three-month worldwide tour with his son, Gyan, to mark his 85th birthday. And then, well, things changed.
“I got here, and then everything canceled,” Riley recalls, speaking over mugs of chai tea at his apartment in Yamanashi Prefecture, a few hours’ train ride from central Tokyo. “I had no work — and nowhere to go, really — so I ended up living here.”
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