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Posted October 1, 2010
Guys, it's "A Rainbow In Curved Air", not "Rainbow...". It's a small point, but important.
Mr. Riley writes in the liner notes, "And then all wars ended...", and goes on to describe a far better world than the one we live in now. It's a pure, clean, holistic vision, and it permeates this incredible, healing music. The amazing thing is that the music on this recording still sounds fresh and wonderful today, 42 years after its initial release. I recently learned that Pete Townshend's composition, "Baba O'Riley", with it's looped synthesizer parts, is a tribute to Terry Riley. Anyway, the music on this recording, "A Rainbow In Curved Air", and "Poppy Nogood And The Phantom Band" reflects a composer in full bloom, at the height of his powers. There's nothing else to say, really, except listen to this music.
Posted October 1, 2010
It was John Peel radio time, the late 1960's. I wasn't paying attention to his voice. Suddenly the music came into my ears. I had to stop what I was doing and listen. As soon as he told me what it was, I wrote it down and resolved to buy it. Rainbow In Curved Air was a breath of fresh air for me. Aside from a few similars - gamelan, Ligeti's "Atmospheres" are two - I hadn't heard this kind of sound before except on the wind or in a rainstorm. Certainly not as music. A flood of sound, a pattern of pitches that demands you listen, but not as you've listened before. Not Elvis or The Beatles, not Bach or Beethoven, not Coltrane or Ellington. None of the above. The whole structure of the music an interwoven audio mesh. Or, better still, um, a rainbow in curved ears. There have been plenty of examples that have approached, some that have entered, the mainstream since then. Musicians have picked up on the use of repeated sounds, loops, sequences, minimalism, whatever, in genres ranging from Electronica to New Age to Rock. For example, that sequence of notes that Townshend put into Won't Get Fooled Again (Who) nods a head at Terry Riley's music. I honestly can't think of a way to describe the music without playing it. I still have the original vinyl LP but it's not in such good condition. The CD looks like entering my collection at last. With all that I've heard since then, I think that Rainbow In Curved Air is more remarkable to listen to today than it was in the late 60's. Use it as you would music: listen, meditate, whatever. But this is one you will find very accessible, and probably one of Riley's most accessible compositions. In its original form. Before synthesizers and computers grew up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.