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TERRY RILEY, STEFANO SCONDANIBBIO, ALTER EGO: 19 September 2005

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Live Act(s): TERRY RILEY, STEFANO SCONDANIBBIO, ALTER EGO
Event Date: 19 September 2005
Type of Event: Theatre Event
Venue: Mole Antonelliana
Promoter/Organizer: Settembre Musica
Rated: *****
My first experience with this composer was while reading Robert Shwarz's "Minimalists", at the time I didn't know that much about Terry Riley, but after having read his biography I felt I could have liked the works of such a personal "artist". Some years have passed by and I've had the chance to learn more about Reich, Riley and Glass (while I've read but still don't know that much about a forerunner like La Monte Young). The opportunity offered by Turin's own Settembre Musica has been kinda interesting as always, in a couple of years I've had the chance to see two of my favorite living composers, it's just a pity Morton Feldman is already dead otherwise I'm sure sooner or later he would have been part of the "carnet";. Riley's concert was set on Monday evening and the location was great: the concert was set inside the museum of cinema, under Mole Antonelliana's dome. According to the program Riley should have played a couple of pieces of his most recent works with Stefano Scondanibbio and later both of them, together with the Alter Ego ensemble, were supposed to perform "In C", that's probably one of the pillars of minimal music. "Melodious junkyard", the opening suite, was a work for prepared piano and doublebass, I think nobody can't say it hasn't been interesting since from the beginning you could have the chance to see how deeply jazz music has influenced contemporary classical composers (the way Riley plays piano is a good reflection of what I mean). While watching this first performance, I finally understood why everybody's speaking about Stefano Scondanibbio as one of the greatest doublebass players at the moment. Scondanibbio's talent got confirmed during "Raga Makaus";, here the music vividly testified Riley's obsession for eastern music (indian ragas in particular). Part of the audience was already satisfied, but as everybody can imagine the most of the people was there waiting for the execution of "In C". Somehow the most of the people was waiting for the famous composition in a relaxed manner, as the opening couple of pieces was nothing but the morsel announcing a richer banquet to come. Right when Alter Ego's ensemble started taking place on the barely unexistent stage under the dome, while somebody was tuning the grand piano, some people carried Riley's keyboards on the stage, it was a contrasting sight to see how the modern silver shape of the instrument could look near to the canute old musician, but at last it was not yet anachronistical. When the music of "In C" began to rise from the stage everything slowly took its place, if you've ever read or heard anything about minimalism, you probably noticed how it vividly represents a sort the marriage of strength with proportion. During the last performance small parts of the ensemble started playing as if they were nothing but a loop, even if there was no sample at all that repetitions started to fade in and out of the music. Even the improvised moments were so well proportioned that it becomes clear minimalism represents a sort of cradle for the early electronic music. "In C" can induce many listeners to trance and it did, but it also may calm and warm the spirit of the audience and that's what always surprise me of Riley's works, he patiently lulls the audience bringing into an oneiric dimension. During "In C" this dream state arrives slowly, progressively and in a relaxed manner while the music heals your soul.

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