Terry Riley – Keyboard Studies 1-2, Tread on the Trail
(Stradivarius STR 33793)
Although best known for his landmark composition In C, there are a few other mid-60’s pieces by composer Terry Riley that are not as well known. Keyboard Studies 1-2 (1964) resembles his psychedelic classic A Rainbow in Curved Air and his legendary all night concerts of the ’60s and ’70s. With a series of modal figures of different lengths, melodic cells repeat and overlap in a hypnotic fabric of sound along with sections with the pulse of of early minimalism. The jazzy Tread on the Trail (1965) shows the obvious influence of Riley’s honky-tonk piano blues and ragtime studies. It’s about time we had a solid recording of these relatively obscure keyboard pieces and pianist Fabrizio Ottaviucci brings the music to life.
Originally published in the Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter.