Terry Riley and Gyan Riley at The Sheldon Concert Hall, 9/17/12: Review

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There were downsides to the Rileys' familiarity with each other. Often, the two playing as one aesthetic resulted in monotones. The intrinsic element of danger within improvisation was slightly dulled; at times, I hoped for some form of disruption just to introduce a new element to the performance.

Still, seeing two masters of a craft so specific and intimidating as instrumental, mostly improvisational duets was moving. They just happen to be related, and one just happens to be among the most important living figures in music as a whole.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: My attendance was equal parts curiosity, support and pilgrimage rather than a love of Terry Riley as a pianist and/or singer. During the intermission, when I heard somebody whistling the first few notes to Terry's iconic "In C," I knew I was not alone.

Overheard: "He would love it! Going down the slides and jumping in the ball pit. He'd probably just want to go on the same slide over and over again," said by a guy behind us talking about taking Terry Riley to the City Museum. He later said, "I'm glad he never gave up on weird."

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