Fanfare for Bare Action First Night: American Pioneers, Barbican Centre, London
Potter, Keith, The Independent (London, England)
AMONG THE many delights of the Barbican Centre's American Pioneers season, which began last night, are performances from all the founding fathers of musical minimalism. In addition to Reich and Glass, La Monte Young, whose contribution is still insufficiently realised, and who has never performed in Britain before, will conclude the proceedings on 1 December.
What better way to open a box of such varied, and in several cases rare, delights than to mount a performance of Terry Riley's In C?
And who better to play it - and sing it too - than a motley bunch of musicians from many different walks of musical life, including Jarvis Cocker and members of the group Pulp? If any single piece can be said to have made minimalism the familiar phenomenon it is today, In C is it. Its composer may have done a thing or two in the 34 years since its premiere. But with its glorious mixing of musical traditions, Eastern as well as Western, the work remains a very special statement of the potential inherent in the breaking down of conventional barriers between different types of music which the Barbican's festival celebrates. The original San Francisco performances of In C evolved, Riley says, "by consensus, almost", without any written instructions for performing the 53 modules on which this open-ended improvisation is based. The composer has himself done much over the ensuing years to encourage interpretations to …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Fanfare for Bare Action First Night: American Pioneers, Barbican Centre, London. Contributors: Potter, Keith - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: October 24, 1998. Page number: 11. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.