In terms of its influence, Terry Riley‘s 1964 work In C is unquestionably the most important piece in the history of minimalism – and, by extension, one of the 20th century canon’s most essential compositions.
Consisting of 53 short musical phrases, the score allows total latitude as regards how many times each motif is repeated – and, indeed, how many performers play each one – making for performances that can last a matter of minutes or many hours. Since each version is different, there have been thousands upon thousands of different permutations, and, consequently, hundreds of different recorded takes to choose from.
As The Vinyl Factory report, label Pure Pleasure will release a fresh edition of the definitive 1968 recording of the piece. Laid down at the New Music Centre in Buffalo, New York, the session features Riley on saxophone backed by a small cabal of musician, and makes use of a number of overdubs. Pure Pleasure’s version will arrive on 180g vinyl on December 9, and has been remastered from the original tapes.
In C will see release on December 9. The reissue follows hot on the heels of a new intepretation from Portishead’s Adrian Utley for Invada. His take featured a specially convened 19-piece ‘Guitar Orchestra’, which numbered storied folks like John Parrish and Jim Barr among its ranks.