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File under: Minimalism

Terry Riley

Descending Moonshine Dervishes / Songs For The Ten Voices Of The Two Prophets


With their rhapsodic, Eastern-inspired melodies, spiraling rhythms and mesmerizing repetitions, Descending Monnshine Dervishes  and Songs for the Ten Voices of the Two Prophets  deftly illustrate just why an entire generation of musicians has looked to Terry Riley for inspiration. Hailed as the godfather of minimalism, Riley spent his early years exploring the possibilities of electronic keyboards through enigmatic, multifarious improvisations. Two classic albums documenting this significant chapter in his development are available in the Celestial Harmonies duobox. This innovative packaging format for double compact disks, places two CDs into a standard, single disk-sized jewel box by means of a modified inner compartment. Recorded in concert in 1975, Descending Monnshine Dervishes pulses with intricate, shifting layers of polyphonic sound. The fifty-two minute composition in two parts was performed live without the aid of pre-recorded tracks. Instead, Riley used a modified Yamaha YC 45D organ to create swirling, mind-altering improvisations seething with otherworldly tone colors. Also captured in concert, Songs for the Ten Voices of the Two Prophets features original lyrics sung to the accompaniment of two Prophet 5 synthesizers. One of the rare recordings documenting Riley's deep gravelly singing style, it combines the insights of East and West into a dynamic statement of the composer's own spiritual search through music.

File under: Minimalism
Cat. number: 12047-2
Year: 1992

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