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In C by Terry Riley, 1964, 42′ 03″

phantomtypist

Looking out our 3rd floor window at the sycamore tree next door, its new spring leaves are exploding in wee bursts of yellowgreen, giving a whole different view and ambiance to life . . for the better.

It’s so fast. The buds break, there are wee peeping of green, than WHAM, tree’s suddenly nothing but leaves and I have to weave and bob my head to see the traffic lights through them so I can bet on the red/yellow/green.

We need to slow this down, so I offer Season Savings Time.

We’d turn spring to half speed, so the new green glow would last twice as long, day after day of slow grow green, endless flower blooms, achingly sweet soft breezes caressing Cleveland cleavage in endless just-warm-enough sun.

Then summer and fall we’d go back to normal time, and of course having to balance the equation, we’d speed winter up twice as fast and get it over with.

But now I reflect, fall is magic too, and summer here frequently brutal, so speed summer up by 25%, speed winter 75%, slow fall 50%, and we’d have it all, with even Goldilocks happy.

Especially since Winter now is basically 6 months, Spring maybe three weeks, summer endless, and fall all too short.

Speaking of timing (musical, that is)…

In C by Terry Riley, 1964, 42′ 03″

plunk plunk plunk plunk
pluck punk plunk

each step in journey a journey
each journey in journey a step

night chimes in soft sun on daylit porch
coffee dark with hot opium steam

a catching of the carousel
with a scratching of the rote

tunnel down and loop back heart
bouncing brave on rubber rung

sung in song such simple sayings
singing swaying in sun

run run run run, run run run more
till bottom drops out of floor

– Smith, 5.2.2016

Can’t remember whether I came across In C, Terry Riley’s 1964 recording, in 1968 or 71, but it’s my favorite 42 minute musical composition (performances can vary from 15 minutes to 2 hours), although actually it is one of my favorites of any length – definitely in my top ten tunes along with Yoko Ono’s Walking On Thin Ice and Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows.

Here’s a 10 minute taste –

“In C consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases, lasting from half a beat to 32 beats; each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times. Each musician has control over which phrase they play: players are encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase. In this way, although the melodic content of each part is predetermined, In C has elements of aleatoric music to it.[4] The performance directions state that the musical ensemble should try to stay within two to three phrases of each other. The phrases must be played in order, although some may be skipped. As detailed in some editions of the score, it is customary for one musician (“traditionally… a beautiful girl,” Riley notes in the score)[5] to play the note C in repeated eighth notes, typically on a piano or pitched-percussion instrument (e.g. marimba). This functions as a metronome and is referred to as “The Pulse”. Steve Reich introduced the idea of a rhythmic pulse to Riley, who accepted it, thus radically altering the original composition by Riley which had no rhythm.[6]” — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_C

coffeetruck

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