Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Music For the Gift/Bird of Paradise
It's a surprise and a shame that there isn't more written about Terry Riley's early tape works, 'Music for the Gift' and 'Bird of Paradise'. Both were released in the first half of the 60's, a good 4 or 5 years before 'Come Out' and 'It's Gonna Rain', and are both just as groundbreaking as Reich's tape experiments. Why these aren't grouped alongside Riley's more popular works ('In C', 'Rainbow in Curved Air'), is a mystery to me.
The most interesting thing about listening to these pieces today is how relevant they still sound. The expressive, improvisatory, skronky noises of 'Birds of Paradise' stand up to the work of any modern day social registry/ecstatic peace knob twiddler. There are moments in there that sound as if they came straight out of Creature Comforts--but like, 40+ years ahead of time:
Terry Riley - 'Music for the Gift part 2'
Terry Riley - 'Music for the Gift part 3'
Terry Riley - 'Music for the Gift part 5'
Terry Riley - 'Bird of Paradise part 1'
Terry Riley - 'Bird of Paradise part 2'
Terry Riley - 'Bird of Paradise part 5'