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Terry Riley (b1935)

Terry Riley was born in Colfax, California, on 25 June 1935. After graduating from San Francisco State University, he moved across the Bay for graduate-studies in composition with Seymour Shifrin and William Denny. Although he was composing in the then accepted serial style, his friend La Monte Young led Riley to investigate long tones. Riley applied them to his 1960 String Quartet and 1961 String Trio. In 1961 he completed his M.A. at the University of California, Berkeley, and moved to Europe. He became involved in a variety of music endeavours, including experiments with tape at the ORTF studios of French national radio.

In 1963, Riley returned to the Bay Area, where he continued his experiments at the San Francisco Tape Music Center. The resulting works from that period were In C (1964) and Dorian Reeds (1965). The seminal minimalist work, In C, provided the conception for a form comprised of interlocking repetitive patterns that was to change the course of twentieth-century music and strongly influence the works of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams as well as rock groups such as The Who, The Soft Machine, Curved Air, Tangerine Dream and many others.



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