Persian Surgery Dervishes is a minimalist recording of two live solo electric organ concerts, the first held in Los Angeles on (18 April 1971) and the second in Paris on (24 May 1972), by avant-garde minimalist composer Terry Riley (see also “A Rainbow in Curved Air” and “In C” inter alia). The two very different performances of the same composition “Persian Surgery Dervishes” are meant to show the importance of improvisation in Riley’s music. Riley plays a modified Yamaha electric organ tuned in just intonation.
The original double-record version was released by legendary French label Shandar, then republished by Mantra Records, first, and Dunya Records later. There existed also a single-record version, also on Shandar, containing just the Paris concert, which had been sponsored by the label itself.
Parts of this album served as soundtrack for a French film released in 1973, named “La chute d’un corps” and directed by a renowned French columnist,Michel Polac”
C. J. Boyd: Dynamos/Scrumpin’ (2006) (right click to download)
“This is a song from my “minor label debut”, The Greatest Weight, released by Sounds Are Active in 2006. Having been performing live with a loop pedal for a few years, I started writing more songs with that in mind. But I didn’t like the idea of using the loop pedal to record. So I actually played everything all the way through, even the really repetitive parts. This song became a kind of zen practice. It’s so much harder to play the same 6 notes over and over for 10-15 minutes than it is to rip a gnarly solo for the same amount of time. The recording process took ages, but it was so methodical and centering. “
I Will Begin a Journey – Jim Goodin (2011)
Jim Goodin is a Brooklyn-based musician who frequently contributes to ImprovFriday. “I Will Begin a Journey” is a simple folk tune that begins with a series of pizzicato arpeggios that are looped, creating an infectious texture that is complimented by the tune that emerges towards the middle. This is excellent traveling music!
Window is a looped piece that slowly builds, layer upon layer, with the various pitches and timbres of the violin added as it progresses. The piece has a somewhat Asian feel at times, but the effect of the increasing strings is to fill up the space almost like an orchestra.
Here is what Jim Goodin writes about this piece:
“Window was created with my rather primitive violin technique and a Digitech Hardwire Delay/Looper pedal. I’m using some arcing technique as well as repeated figures indicative of my interest and influence in minimalism in music. … My violin is a custom made electric solid body 4 string. Window is completely improvisation, no music was pre-thought or noted.”
Further information can be found here.
First posted on the ImprovFriday October 15, 2010 event.
“The songs on Corey Dargel’s Every Day Is the Same Day — scored for voice, violin, and digital looping — present worst-case scenarios as possible solutions for boredom and loneliness. They are part of a larger work in development with Cornelius Dufallo, violinist of the string quartet ETHEL. New Amsterdam Records is pleased to present this free EP as a companion to Corey’s Someone Will Take Care of Me, due out May 25.”
looped guitar improvisation originally posted at ImprovFriday Event: October 23rd 2009