Tag Archive: terry riley


15-07-15 The Achromatic Blues Soundscape

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Prog Review 382 – A Rainbow in Curved Air – Terry Riley

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01-01-14 Improvisation “A New Year in the Same Town”

Something gentle to ease you into the New Year – recorded in the early hours of 2014 for your enjoyment. A moment of musical solitude for you to take stock and prepare for the next 12 months.

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Prog Review 143 – Lux – Brian Eno

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And so ambient pioneer Brian Eno has released another ambient classic in the same vein as “Music for Airports” and “Discreet Music”. Here’s my thoughts on the album and I give my own simplified demonstration of generative music.

This set of recordings were committed to hard drive between April and September 1999. At that moment in time, I’d only dipped my toe in the water of “ambient” music and was taking my cue from Robert Fripp, Brian Eno and Terry Riley. I remember that these recordings were put down quickly and it being quite a fraught, yet exhilerating process as it was really seat-of-the-pants stuff. One mistake or duff note and the take would be ruined, so you had to keep focus and really concentrate on the process. However, that rush of adrenalin was the key, I believe, to these recordings.

In terms of equipment, I was only using my Fender Fat Strat guitar and my Roland GR-1 guitar synth – there were no delay pedals in my collection at that time. The really good thing about the GR-1 was that you could modify the sounds so that had a slow decay, so you could trigger a note and it would resonate for a long while, allowing you to move your fingers to another note or chord. So you could create these big smears of sound and create a veritable audio soup without the need for looping or delay pedals. The sound would then decay slowly allowing you to consider your next move…or not.

I don’t know if this is particularly good or not – I have a great fondness for it because I was moving off the map – but here it is cleaned up for the 21st century and available as a free download too.

So this is the album “Blue” and it represents my first steps into ambient music.

Enjoy!