May 6, 2009
Last week, Carnegie Hall hosted a 45th anniversary performance of Terry Riley's In C. In a glowing review of the event, the Wall Street Journal's Greg Sandow happened to mention Cantaloupe in passing, writing that "the most joyful recorded version [of In C] might be the one released in 2001 by the Bang on a Can All-Stars plus friends, on the Cantaloupe label." We couldn't agree more - Bang on a Can's recording of the piece is superb, which is why we put it out. Nevertheless, we always appreciate attention thrown our way.
For unaware listeners, In C, written in 1964 by Terry Riley, helped introduce Minimalism to a wider audience. The piece - which influenced a wide range of composers and musicians, including Steve Reich and The Who - is made up of 53 short musical phrases and a constant, pulsing note pitched at C. Instruments play the 53 phrases in order with occasional (or frequent) repetitions. Once everyone is finished playing, the piece is over.
To honor the piece's influence on the classical world as well as the spirit of the original performance, David Harrington (first violinist in Kronos Quartet) organized a group of over 70 musicians, including Mr. Riley and original performers Stuart Dempster, Jon Gibson, Katrina Krimsky, and Morton Subotnick. Cantaloupe was well represented among the musicians - So Percussion, Michael Harrison, and Evan Ziporyn were all present and playing. To view rehearsal footage and interviews with performers, click play on the video embedded below.
And to pick up your own copy of In C, visit the Bang on a Can Store.