Second, from the Guardian, something really special: a recording by Damon Albarn’s Africa Express, along with a profile of Riley. It’s so irrepressibly joyous I literally couldn’t sit down listening to it. Instant purchase.
[Conductor] de Ridder had brought a copy of Riley’s score to Bamako because he had been performing the piece with his own ensemble, Stargaze. He soon found out that straight repetition was alien to the philosophy of Malian musicians. Instead, they ended up jamming over him playing the phrases on the violin.
Riley’s favourite part of their version, he says, is when the C pulse suddenly stops and one of the musicians starts speaking over the music, about the first time he learnt to play his instrument, the kora. “That blew my mind,” he says. “I always welcome it when pieces change. The worst interpretations I’ve heard of In C mechanically try to copy the original performance.” The thought sends one final quiver of irritation through his facial hair. “Rules,” he says, “are not as important as results.”