Terry Riley’s Avant-Garde Sounds Are Still Casting Spells

Last month, the New York Times profiled seminal avant-garde composer/performer Terry Riley. So what does this have to do with magick? Well, I could also go back to Crowley’s adage about all artists being in touch with Binah, or point out that, in effect, artists make something out of nothing — a trick that most devoted mages don’t quite pull off, primarily causing change in things that already exist. BUT, honestly – this is just a cultural jawn. Riley is one of the architects of Minimalism which would soon enough give birth to avant-rock in the form of the Velvet Underground who in turn touched a huge amount of rock bands for decade after decade. Among other things. Here’s one excerpt:

“But Riley’s greatest influence has been on electronic music, not only of the experimental variety but on popular genres like house and techno. ‘Terry Riley is the bridge from Messiaen to Kraftwerk,’ said Gavilán Rayna Russom, who plays synthesizer for LCD Soundsystem and recently released a solo album of electronic works. ‘There was also a spirituality at work, but one that had a cybernetic relationship to technology. Terry’s approach is more like psychedelic rock than the more hard-line New York Minimalist composers, he was more trippy.’”

So if yr not into dance music, ambitious rock of any sort, not to mention most contemporary symphonic or post-symphonic composed music — then this will probably not be of interest.


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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