If you bumped into Terry Riley on the street, you might at first mistake him for Dumbledore in casual, muggle street wear. His distinctive wisps of beard trail to the tops of his breast pockets and his rich, velvety cap looks like it holds more than a few (magic) tricks. Actually, he’s just a fellow Golden Bear, having studied at UC Berkeley where he kept crowds spellbound with his cutting-edge, minimalist music compositions while at grad school in the 1960s. Since then, he’s moved on to work with musical, theatrical and visual artists all over the globe and continues to share his distinctive sound. Flipping from calamitous crunches of noise to spritely, tumbling repetitions, Riley always maintains tight control over the musical patterns he draws out. What might disintegrate into obnoxious chaos in another composer’s hands brings sonorous order under Riley’s intuitive manipulation. With his calculated cobbling together of musical traditions from disparate cultures and applying his musical ideas in collaborative arts projects, Riley continually reforms the listening experience. Catch him later today at [email protected]: Friday Nights at BAM/PFA. Doors open at 5 p.m.
Image credit: Sarah Sackner