American Mavericks

Terry Riley

(b. Colfax, California, June 24 1935)

Terry Riley studied with Robert Erickson at San Francisco State University and took a master’s degree in composition from the University of California at Berkeley. He was an original member of the San Francisco Tape Music Center and in the early 1960s developed his unique method of repeating a phrase over a constant pulse.

In C (1964) has been called as much a watershed as Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was in its day, and as the artist who introduced this manifesto of minimalism, Riley is spiritual ancestor to composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams. His influence has been also felt on rock groups such as The Who and The Soft Machine.

A Radio Profile of Terry Riley

Interviews from the “American Mavericks” series (c) (p) American Mavericks Public Media. Used with permission. All rights reserved.