A columnist of heart and mind

A columnist of heart and mind
Interviewing the animals at Children's Fairyland in Oakland. L-R: Bobo the sheep, Gideon the miniature donkey, me, Tumbleweed Tommy the miniature donkey, Juan the alpaca, Coco the pony

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

'Round Midnight

(Above: Terry Riley)

Composer Terry Riley, the father of the minimalist movement in classical music, will hark back to the famous all-night concerts he used to give in the 1960s and 1970s when he performs Nov. 6 at the Berkeley Art Museum.
Back in the day, the concerts would last until sunrise, with the audience bringing their own sleeping bags and hammocks to doze in while Riley played mostly improvised music all night long.
"He's in his 70's now, and he doesn't play all night as much as he used to," says pianist Sarah Cahill, who has performed many of Riley's works and is curating the event. "So he'll play a late night concert from 9 p.m. to at least midnight, and maybe beyond."
The last time Riley played at the Berkeley Art Museum was in 1975, when a local carpet company loaned Oriental carpets for the audience to lie on during the concert.
This time, audience members are asked to bring sleeping bags, camping pads, blankets, pillows or whatever will make them comfortable on the museum floor. A limited number of chairs will be available, and the music can also be enjoyed from the galleries above.
Riley, who has been cited as a major influence by composers and performers ranging from John Adams to The Who, will sing and play a selection of his works on a rare, $129,000 Fazioli piano loaned by the Piedmont Piano Company.
The Berkeley Art Museum is located at 2626 Bancroft Way. Admission is $5, and people are urged to arrive early to get a good spot on the floor.

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