“The story starts down on Mrs. Halton’s chicken farm on the back road from Colfax to Weimar, California during WWII.
My mother and I were living with my grandparents in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills where my father, a US Marine, was off fighting the Japanese in the Pacific for 3 years.
Each Saturday my Italian Nona would drive me to my piano lesson in her 1934 black Plymouth sedan. I would have the lesson (find out where middle C was, etc.) and then she would drive home, me in the back seat with two or three live chickens that were to be magically transformed into Sunday’s meal. My Nona, Ida Ridolfi, sang opera in the kitchen while she prepared the most savorous Italian meals imaginable. Every Sunday, unannounced, 20 to 25 guests would come to Weimar, drawn to her legendary feasts. She never knew who exactly would be showing up, but show up they invariably did. She did this ritual joyously all the years I knew her and I might add it was quite a miracle on my Nono’s meager salary as a section foreman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. I credit her with being my first Guru and her independent spirit, her generosity, her teachings and example have guided me all these years.”
Terry Riley, most commonly associated with the minimalist and experimental schools of music, draws influence from a vast number of sources, including jazz and Indian classical music. In turn, his influence on contemporary composers and music in general is enormous, and with this collection of his Piano Works, you can learn a selection of his fascinating, hypnotic and simply stunning compositions for solo Piano.
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