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Terry Riley: The Bull

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 @ the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

In December 2018 Other Minds presented a concert of piano music by one of California’s most treasured composers, Terry Riley. The concert featured southern California pianist Gloria Cheng, and the composer himself, playing separately and together on one Steinway D-series concert grand.

The work featured in this video, called The Bull was not part of the scheduled program at this concert, but, as the composer says at the end of this video, he played it anyway. According to the list of Terry’s works on his web site, The Bull was originally written for pipe organ, one of four parts of a work called The Universal Bridge written in 2008, with a manuscript score written in piano staves.

Here’s a quote from Riley, taken from the program notes for this concert, on the subject of solo piano works: “The area that interests me most is where the conscious mind is subsumed into the universal mind. This is why I find the solo piano experience so important. It is an opportunity to compose spontaneously in real time, passages that would be extremely challenging to render into notation. What I am attempting to do here is recreate a music structure from a set of plans. This can be either a written down score or a plan totally committed to memory. This set of plans can be the reference for setting in motion a unique musical journey whether it happens in performance or in our daily practice.”

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