Terry Riley

The Harp of New Albion

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The Harp of New Albion is hypnotic piano recording conceived and performed by minimalist composer Terry Riley. The inspiration for this is the myth of the legendary harp, left behind in 1579 on the shores of Nova Albion, later known as the San Francisco Bay. As the fable goes, a Native American medicine man found the instrument and placed it on a cliff, where winds played it. Riley adapted ten movements for The Harp of New Albion to a specially tuned piano on which he improvises each movement. Harmonics drift and float around repetitious phrases, creating an almost orchestral sound which is very similar to the effects created by La Monte Young on his Well Tuned Piano. The Bösendorfer grand piano resonates through the Academy of Music in Munich, Germany, where this majestic performance was captured. Released as a double-CD set, this recording makes for a startling introduction to the work of one of America's most renowned and influential minimalist composers.

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