PRISM Quartet

Chanting the Light – Terry Riley Composer Portrait

Chanting the Light of Foresight (1987)
Tread on the Trail (1964)
Mandala Miniatures (select movements,1999)


The PRISM Quartet presents a program of music for saxophones by Terry Riley, who launched the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary 1964 composition IN C. Deeply influenced by jazz and Indian classical music, Riley’s own music has in turn influenced artists across genres, from composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams to rock groups like The Who, Soft Machine, and Tangerine Dream.

Inspired by the rhythms of Gaelic culture, Chanting the Light of Foresight is based on the Taín Bó Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), an eighth-century Irish story cycle that chronicles a giant cattle raid, the invasion of Ulster by the armies of Queen Medb of Connaught, seeking to carry off the great Brown Bull of Cuailnge. Tread on the Trail, originally written for tenor saxophone legend Sonny Rollins in the mid-1960’s, derives its title from the way in which the performers follow each other quasi-canonically around five separate mixed-metered melodic lines, comprising a minimalist raga of sorts. Mandala Miniaturesis a collection of short pieces composed while Riley was on a European tour that included a visit to the Hapsburg Palace where, according to the composer, “I was greatly moved walking through these rooms where [Haydn] had made his enormous contributions and I felt some kind of transmission about the whole era and its meaning.”

Tenri Cultural Institute
43A West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

December 15, 2012

20 general admission, $15 students/seniors (with ID) at door

Philadelphia Art Alliance
251 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

December 16, 2012

20 general admission, $15 students/seniors (with ID) at door