CD Production Credits

Executive Producer: Bill Ryan
Producers: Silas Brown, Bill Ryan
Engineer: Silas Brown
Assistant Engineers: Roy Wallace, Joe McCarger
Edited, mixed and mastered by Silas Brown and Bill Ryan at Legacy Sound

Recorded at River City Studios, Grand Rapids, MI
CD Art and Design by Ben Polatin

Innova Director: Philip Blackburn
Operations Manager: Chris Campbell

Guest Performers:
Zoë Keating, cello (Zinc)
Glenn Kotche, percussion (Smooth)
Paul D. Miller, bass (In Sea of C)
Daniel Bernard Roumain, violin (Zachary's Dream)
Click on the track titles below for further information.

In C - Semi-Detached, In C - Extension • Jack Dangers

I participated in a performance of Terry Riley's In C at the San Francisco Symphony Hall. I was not part of the orchestra, but part of the audience. The audience was asked to bring their instruments and participate in the construction of the piece . The fact that each participating musician helped create the music and it is different each time it is played was interesting to me. In C is based around the pulse, a strong piano note repeated, and acts as the foundation of the track and everything layers around it. I wanted to see what the piece sounded like with drums and then with vocoder.....in C.

- Jack Dangers

Terrycloth Troposphere • Masonic (Mason Bates)

Terrycloth Troposphere weaves together shards from Terry Riley's In C, homemade samples of old radio switches, and fragments of a recent choral composition for Chanticleer. The harmonic center of gravity casts beguiling new shadows from Riley's fragments, like a sun adrift in a sky of alien beauty.

- Masonic (Mason Bates)

Smooth • Glenn Kotche

The first half of Smooth consists of drones building in periodic successions. The basis of this is slowing the accordion down to a quarter of the speed that it was played. I love the natural rhythms that occur due to the speed of the expansion and contraction of the instrument caused by the accordionist’s pressure. I sampled several Terry Riley voice clips that enter the fold on the third drone build as well.

There’s also liberal use of the prepared piano as well as some woodwinds in reverse. The first half of the remix is a process of shortening these drones and building intensity to set up the second half. I created alternating pitches for the drones because Terry Riley was initially inspired by Miles Davis’ use of modes and his alternation between two chords in pieces like So What. He names this as an influence in simplifying harmony - which led directly to In C.

All of the rhythms in the second half are just a series of episodic phrases comprised of cells from the original piece that I overlapped and transposed to drums and then doubled with various members of the ensemble. I wanted the first and second halves of the remix to present radically different takes on the original but also balance each other out, creating a symbiotic relationship. The two parts tell a better story when combined. I decided to forego the use of the pulse, since this is such an identifying aspect of the piece--even though it was originally Steve Reich’s suggestion.

The ending tag is just a short collage of a few of the GVSU ensemble members playing legato cells. I thought it would be a nice respite after the rhythmic activity of the preceding music. At the very end - it's a sample of Terry saying, "smooth” – this acts as the cherry on top. Since this is a rather intense take on In C, I thought it would be nice to inject a little humor for the finale.

- Glenn Kotche

Bints Mix, Foster Grant Mix • Michael Lowenstern

My first exposure to In C was during grad school (relatively late by many standards). The LP had apparently been in heavy rotation because it would skip periodically, but unlike that situation with just about any other piece of music, it actually added to the experience. I would be zoning out at any given point, but when the record skipped, the jump would most often be in time, and I would then focus and zero in my listening to a paricular section of the piece before shoving the needle forward (or backward). For me, the flexibility of In C is singularly unique in it's ability to alternately live in the background and/or draw in the listener's focus. I tried to stay true to that sensibility as I organized my thoughts around the two remixes I made for this compilation, and hopefully succeeded in making them a similar type of "flexible listening."

- Michael Lowenstern

Zinc • Zoë Keating

I really had a great time making this piece. The original GVSU recording was so lush and inviting that I just dove in and it turned into a cascade of C....like a big, rushing C waterfall.

- Zoë Keating

Counting in C • Jad Abumrad

First time I heard In C I was a freshman in college, majoring in music composition and completely lost in a wilderness of scary music. Serial, post-war atonality. Our teacher was asking us to compose music that literally hurt (I was told someone in a class a few years ahead of me had actually sawed an old piano in half for a piece). So anyhow, at one of my more despairing moments, I went to the music library, and on recommendation from a friend, checked out In C on vinyl. And when I dropped the needle on the record, I almost wanted to cry. Here was "serious music" that was actually...fun.

Cause there's something about In C, and pieces like it, that make you want to move, and march, and do rhythmic things like count, not sure sure why, but it's like there's a pedometer buried deep in your body that comes alive with the thump thump thump of the marimba. Anyhow, my wife and just recently (as in two months ago) gave birth to a little boy. And one of the things you do with babies, I discovered, is rhythmic, repetitive exercises like counting. It's that pedometer instinct again.

So this remix is really just an attempt to to count in c. The baby sounds at the beginning come from my little guy, Amil. And the little girl towards middle is named Meena Aroncyzk, daughter of Amanda Aronczyk. She's 2 years old.

- Jad Abumrad

In C with Canons and Bass • Nico Muhly

The year I discovered In C was the same year I started listening to all the big masterworks of the American minimal tradition. I was 14, I was at Tanglewood, it was heaven. This remixed version of In C hints sideways at Einstein on the Beach, Music for 18 Musicians, and into the future, towards Michael Gordon, towards John Adams, towards my generation, and out into the open air.

- Nico Muhly

In Sea of C • DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid

It’s been 100 years since Filippo Marinetti wrote his infamous “Manifesto of Futurism” and even more since Ferruccio Busoni made his essay “Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music.” What has changed in the world since these two seminal essays were written? For one thing – we’ve finally come to terms with seeking some kind of balance between noise, rhythm, and repetition. We’ve opened our ears to the sound of the world around us in a way that composers and artists of the last century would have found extremely difficult to come to terms with. Think of the Italian Futurist, Luigi Russolo’s 1915 manifesto “The Art of Noises” and extract: “let us cross a great modern capital with our ears more alert than our eyes and we will delight in distinguishing the eddying of water, air and gas in metal pipes, the muttering of motors that breathe and pulse with an indisputable animality, the throbbing of valves, the bustle of pistons, the shrieks of mechanical saws, the jolting of trams on the tracks, the cracking of whips, the flapping of awnings and flags. We will amuse ourselves by orchestrating together in our imagination the din of rolling shop shutters, slamming doors, the varied hubbub of train stations, iron works, thread mills, printing presses, electrical plants and subways.”

Pretty heady stuff!

What I wanted to explore when The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble asked me to remix the legendary song “In C” (1964), was a dynamic equilibrium between repetition and some of the “minimalist” issues that we’ve inherited from composers in the 20th century. For me, in the hip-hop era, we need to look back at some precedents in the “avant garde” – George Antheil’s “Ballet Mécanique,” Erik Satie’s music of modal repetition, the serialist movements of Arthur Shoenberg, Anton Webern, and Pierre Boulez, the electronic tape manipulations of the Arab composer Halim El Dabh, the studied, delicate balance between Eastern and Western tonal structures of Debussy’s “La Mer,” the density of India’s traditions of formal compositions in Ravi Shankar, the paradoxical innovations of Olivier Messiaen and Edgard Varèse … all of these find a home in Terry Riley’s riveting and beautiful work. If the original piece is made of 53 short, numbered musical phrases that rotate in and out of overlapping motifs, the remix has distilled some the beauty of the repetition into a rhythm form that many listeners ears grounded in hip hop, techno, dubstep, etc will find familiar terrain. It’s a piece that’s meant to fit into several contexts. When you hear the opening lines of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” – you know they heard Riley’s work. When you think of Philip Glass, John Adams, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk, Harry Partch, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison and others, you can also connect the dots. In C was the original DNA of many of these composers relationship to repetition. I hope that the listener can hear a mirror reflection in a hip hop take on the same composition. The Futurists always thought the future would be noise. Who would have guessed that their ideas would be usurped by repetition! I hope you enjoy the work.

- Paul D. Miller aka Dj Spooky

In Cognito • Phil Kline

In C is one of the most fertile seeds ever planted. I think for a lot of us it's always somewhere in the back of our minds, and so many things have happened that take its door-dissolving flexibility and sneaky subversion for granted that the influence is incalculable.

The title itself is a philosophical font...it seems simple but...is the piece really in C, or really tonal at all, or is it beyond tonal, even mocking the relevance of tonality as a musical goal or badge of identity?

My remix is something of an agricultural cloning exercise. Reducing the forces to clarinet, vibraphone and piano, a section of the music was subjected to modest genetic engineering. The result of that submix was dumped onto cassette tapes, four identical dupes, which were then played back on four tape players in a meadow in Spencertown, NY, in the cool of the evening, at which time the chorus of In C clones was joined by a few Common Yellowthroats and Veeries.

- Phil Kline

In C (Dennis DeSantis Remix) • Dennis DeSantis

The first time I heard In C was on a recording, in a college music library during normal hours. But the first time I really "got it" was when I had the opportunity to play the pulse in a performance of In C that ended an all-night new music concert. At five or six in the morning, playing this wildly ecstatic music made everything click, and I realized then just how much In C changed everything.

Since then, I've done a lot more late-night music. This remix project gave me the chance to bring In C back to the night.

- Dennis DeSantis

Zachary's Dream • Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)

I was invited by Silas Brown and Bill Ryan to remix a recording of Terry Riley's In C, as performed by the miraculous musicians of Grand Valley State University, under the direction of Mr. Ryan. A full 3 disks full of information was sent to me, with each instrument (or stem) recorded individually, along with a version of the entire ensemble playing the piece. The score, program notes, and other vital information was included, and after loading everything into the computer, only then did I fully realize just how much music, and how many choices, laid before me. At once, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of the material and its individual, and collective, riches.

I decided to simply not use every instrument and instead, focus on the those which I knew might not be easily heard, particularly in a live setting. My focus turned to the kalimba, acoustic guitar, bass flute, bassoon, glockenspiel, and other timbres that had some appeal. I created and added my own beats, along with a myriad of effects that made sense within the context of this mix, or dream. I also decided to use the recording of the entire ensemble, but only intermittently, as a rondo, against the more chamber-like, conversational nature of the preceding music. Finally, I decided I wanted to play along, and towards the very end, I play my violin with and against those hot-shot, virtuoso players, in an attempt to be a part of something great and wonderful and real and relevant and well-done and---from what I can hear---ferocious fun!

The poet in me, if asked what Zachary's Dream means, might reply that I wanted this remix to be a soundtrack to the moment when you're very young, and very tired, and are falling asleep in the backseat of a car or on a train, as you fight to stay awake, if only to listen to the ambient sounds on the radio or the music on your loose fitting headphones, and your siblings conversation, and the anecdotes of your parents mind-numbing, endless quarreling---all of this, a soothing, comforting lullaby for the overstimulated children we all might be.

- Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)

Xenoglossia • Mikael Karlsson/Rob Stephenson

By taking a similar attitude to Terry Riley’s as he created In C, specifically the way he challenged classical music forms, Mikael Karlsson and Rob Stephenson playfully challenge the basic tenets of minimalism in their composition Xenoglossia.

Xenoglossia does not use many of the primary aspects ascribed to minimalism. It is still a remix since all sound sources employed come from the In C performance stems that were sent to all of the remixers. However, no pulses or beats were used, there is no sense of incremental pattern shifting for the duration of the piece, and there is no ecstatic trance-like feeling that binds it together.

Some of the original sounds were processed by reading a text through various gating chains. The text combines the writings and interviews of Riley with the multi-voiced lunacy of schizophrenics (schizophrenia has been a subject of continuing interest to Riley over the last several years).

If a graphic depiction of Xenoglossia were generated, it might resemble one of Frank Gehry’s buildings in which a series of sections are unified by each one yielding its own spatial aberrations.

- Mikael Karlsson & Rob Stephenson

Is In C in F? • R. Luke DuBois

Is In C in F? takes the source performance of In C used throughout this remix project and compresses it in time using my technique of timelapse photography. This acceleration of the music from twenty-five to five minutes accelerates and blurs the rhythms and melodies within the piece, resulting in a long-exposure "image" of the sound. Each musician's recording is then subjected to a rhythmic analysis to try to find her/his most common rhythmic pattern. I then used these on each track to create a pulsating texture. What you end up with is two things: a piece where the rhythms are (however abstractly) taken from an average of how people play In C in concert, and a harmony that expresses a rapidly accelerated sense of the overall motion of the piece. The second component is a bit more abstract, as it poses a conceptual problem for the listener based around the idea of cadence, as the music for In C gradually moves out of the diatonic key of C as the 53 musical phrases unfold. When this is done at a high speed, the piece sounds like it might be in a different key entirely...

- R. Luke DuBois

In C (Todd Reynolds Remix) • Todd Reynolds

For awhile I was considering calling this motorbike mix. I had recently returned from two weeks in the village of Ubud, in Bali, where a motorbike currently costs about five US Dollars per day to rent. Driving there is an art, not a science, with no traffic lights and no medians to be sure, and there is an inexplicable, mysterious ebb and flow between vehicles, dogs, motorbikes, and women carrying everything from offerings to bricks on top of their heads that simply, well, works. The sights, the smells, the music, and the sounds changed me, and I can't help but be reminded of the years that Terry Riley traveled, lived and studied in India, a path that I would choose perhaps in a next life. I was surrounded with that heavenly music and with the other art of Bali 24/7 and still had it all clearly in my consciousness at the time of this remix. I brought back some beautiful wood carvings and a painting made by a man I found while exploring some out of the way place, and after only two weeks I felt a profound shift in consciousness.

As I sat down to work on this, it became clear to me just how much of it all was still close to the surface. As the mix developed, I was reminded of the time I spent on that motorbike as the temples, rice terraces, wild dogs, people selling their art, water, forest, all whirred by, natural and man-made beauty unfolding by the second, and I, simply a humble observer. Not surprisingly, it's much like the first time I played my way through In C, where I discovered that the listening and the watching was as profound a part of the process as the playing. Terry Riley has given us a timeless work which elevates "presence in the moment" to the art form it truly is, and this mix is my humble response to it.

- Todd Reynolds

In C Remix • Kleerup

Remixing Terry Riley?

Well, besides the first minutes of dizziness followed by a sense of actually being part of a world I´ve always loved (composers goddammit!), I just gave it a go. Thanks to my recently purchased MPC and other gadgets, after a few hours the non-existent Kleerup remix turned into well..something I liked. I danced and could sleep well and felt that hopefully my remix would work out well on this project and also show my influences: which would be sort of...Riley, Reich, Varesé, Zappa, Rundgren, Arvo Pärt, Glenn Branca, Wim Mertens, Bukowski, Ace Frehley, Vincent Gallo, Jan Hammer, John Cage, Alan Watts ETC!!!

Hope you like it!!!!!!! A Thousand Kisses to my friend and wonderful magic-man Mikael Karlsson for bringing me into this.

- Andeas Kleerup

simple remix • David Lang

I have always loved In C and over the years have participated in many many performances - as a trombonist, as a percussionist, as a guitarist, and even once (erratically, I am afraid) playing the pulse. I remember my college new music ensemble drinking a bit too much after a concert and singing the whole thing, backstage in an art center in Mendocino California. It is an easy piece to do badly - I also remember one performance in which everyone agreed too much, and the whole performance took on a march-like quality, as we all unwittingly moved in lock-step with each other. In memory of that performance I remixed a section as a kind of slow march, with the studio help of Todd Reynolds and a spectacularly funereal bass drum sample from Paul Coleman.

- David Lang