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Zofo Plays Terry Riley - KMFA Interview

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Interview with KMFA's John Clare


READ THE POST - Composer and performer Terry Riley is one of the founders of music's Minimalist movement. Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 marks Riley's 80th birthday! His early works, notably In C (1964), pioneered a form in Western music based on structured interlocking repetitive patterns. The influence of Riley's hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric, brightly orchestrated Eastern-flavored improvisations and compositions is heard across the span of contemporary and popular music.

Performers who have commissioned and/or played his works include: Kronos Quartet, Zeitgeist, John Zorn, Sarah Cahill, California E.A.R. Unit, electric violinist Tracy Silverman, bassist Bill Douglass, the Assad brothers, Bang-on-a-Can All Stars, and ZOFO Piano Duo. This weekend, a celebration of Terry Riley's music will take place in San Francisco at the Kronos Quartet's Terry Riley Festival. On the program is the ZOFO Piano Duo!

The latest release from ZOFO Piano Duo features the music of Terry Riley. The pianist's collaboration with Terry began after one of their first concerts as ZOFO, when they received a score for Cinco de Mayo from The Heaven Ladder, Book 5, a collection of Riley's pieces for piano-four-hands. ZOFO connected immediately with the work, and soon performed it in concert and sent Riley the recording. Very impressed with their efforts, the composer got in touch with ZOFO and sent them the scores for the four remaining pieces from the collection – Etude from the Old Country, Jaztine, Tango Doble Ladiado, and Waltz for Charismas. As one half of ZOFO, Eva-Maria Zimmermann, puts it, "We were in heaven!"

Listen to an interview with Eva-Maria and the other half of ZOFO, Keisuke Nakagoshi, with KMFA's John Clare by clicking the orange audio play button above.

Clare also recently spoke with flutist and conductor Ransom Wilson during the Round Top International Music Festival. Check out the soundcloud link below to hear about adopting Minimalist music early on, and comparing it to Beethoven.