Terry Riley in Camptonville

August 29, 2015

The tiny town of Camptonville hosts a concert series that Terry curates. World-class New Music in the woods. He and I will be performing together there in April 2017. 

August 29th was an extraordinary night as an obviously emotional Terry Riley performed in his hometown for the very first time. The inaugural audience at the new Camptonville Community Center packed into its cozy yet more than adequate performance space to have composer and keyboard giant Riley transport them into the beyond the beyond. Riley’s eclecticism was at the forefront. Opening each act with an Indian vocal raga to electronic tamboura and tabla accompaniment, Terry’s voice never sounded more assured, more clear, and more devotional. Jumping next into an improvisatory-seeming yet thoroughly composed piano piece “I like Your Eyes Liberty,” Terry’s pianism wowed the crowd What a lovely, harmonically rich work this is, combining Terry’s background in jazz a stylings with his own trademark swirling pulses. Using a large electronic keyboard with an apparently infinite array of voices and multi-tracking capabilities, several of the following pieces ventured into dense layers of atmosphere. Terry closed the first act with “The Camptonville Strut.” The work revealed the wit and fun-loving side of Terry, and the attendees were most pleased: how could they not be? After generously sharing time with fans during the interval, Terry returned to the hall for more of the same. The audience, which seemed to be evenly divided between locals and Nevada County residents, responded with increased enthusiasm after each piece. “The Camptonville Strut” returned as the encore and got the whole rockin’ crowd to its feet. This was a fantastic debut for a brand new venue that hopes to bring a wide variety of entertainments and other services to the foothill community. Keep The Camptonville Community Center on your radar.

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