Dark Queen Mantra
The center of this program is Dark Queen Mantra, a quintet commissioned, premiered, and recorded by Del Sol and Gyan in 2015 in honor of Terry’s 80th Birthday. Never one to be hemmed in by convention, Terry continued composing additional movements since then – his music keeps growing like a river.
Dark Queen Mantra is available as on all-Riley concert including his rarely played The Wheel & Mythic Birds Waltz, or in mixed programs chosen from music by Stefano Scodanibbio, Ben Johnston, Chinary Ung, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Huang Ruo, and Gabriela Lena Frank.
The all-Riley program includes:
Terry Riley: G Song (1980)
Terry Riley: Dark Queen Mantra (2015) +
Dark Queen Mantra was commissioned for the Del Sol String Quartet by the Del Sol Performing Arts Organization, with the generous support of the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and the Fleishhacker Foundation.
Although best known for his groundbreaking minimalist composition In C, Terry Riley continues to explore a highly personal musical path that draws on his fascination with improvisation, jazz, and Indian classical music. Mythic Birds Waltz never actually breaks into a waltz. Instead it views an Indian tabla pattern through a kaleidoscope of possibilities, gently shifting the meter to dance in new ways. Sometimes the music surges forward with melodic invention and sometimes it is content to linger looping in eddies.
The mixed program is chosen from:Stefano Scodanibbio: Mas Lugares (2003) +
Ben Johnston: String no. 10 (1995)
Huang Ruo: Calligraffiti (2009)
Gabriela Lena Frank: new quartet (2017)
Chinary Ung: Spiral X (for amplified string quartet & vocalizations)
Ruth Crawford Seeger: Quartet (1931)
World famous composer Terry Riley “has become a totemic presence in music over the past half-century: a pioneer of minimalism, a godfather of sampling and ambient house, and a shamanic hero to a generation of hipsters” (The Guardian) Renowned for his groundbreaking works including In C and Rainbow in Curved Air, the influence of his hypnotic multilayered compositions is heard across the span of contemporary and popular music.
“Gyan Riley is a one-man American-music machine, amicably ranging across the fields of jazz, world music, and post-minimalism.” (The New Yorker)
Dark Queen Mantra will be released on the Sono Luminus label in August of 2017. Listen to a live Del Sol performance of The Wheel & Mythic Birds Waltz.
© Del Sol Performing Arts Organization • Photos by RJ Muna