Workshop Performance of In C (Terry Riley, 1964)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 12:00-1:00pm, UB Student Union Lobby

Everyone in the UB community who can read music and play an instrument/sing was invited to join Ensembe Signal in a "flash orchestra" performing Terry Riley's minimalist masterpiece, In C

Twenty-six musicians, over half of them from the UB community, participated in this workshop performance. And many more enjoyed it, coming an going as they passed through the Student Union or ate lunch.

In C consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases, lasting from half a beat to 32 beats; each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times. Each musician has control over which phrase they play: players are encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase.The performance directions state that the musical ensemble should try to stay within two to three phrases of each other. The phrases must be played in order, although some may be skipped. In this way, although the melodic content of each part is predetermined, In C is always a new experience.

This work has influenced everyone from composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass to rock bands such as The Who.