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Music, All Shook Down “Music That is Bigger Than Mundane Life:” Laraaji on His Life as a New-Age Artist

“Music That is Bigger Than Mundane Life:” Laraaji on His Life as a New-Age Artist

Though chiefly instrumental, new-age music is music with a purpose. Call it background or spa music if you will, but new-age tunes can be used for a multitude of purposes, such as relaxation, help with sleeping, optimism, inspiration, and more. …
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Music, All Shook Down Catch a Show at This Week's Kronos Quartet Festival (You Won't Regret It)

Catch a Show at This Week's Kronos Quartet Festival (You Won't Regret It)

Kronos Quartet is one of the most fascinating, innovative, and long-standing musical groups of San Francisco. The neoclassical string group was formed in Seattle in 1973 by violinist David Harrington. When Harrington moved to San Francisco in 1978, the…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Lou Harrison Led a Music Revolution From a Remote Location

Lou Harrison Led a Music Revolution From a Remote Location

When we first heard Terry Riley's "In C," our minds left us -- all those instruments, in all those minutes, all galloping after that C. We'd always known classical was inventive; we'd just never heard inventiveness so hypnotic, so direct,…
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Calendar, Night&Day Remotely Composed

Remotely Composed

When we first heard Terry Riley’s “In C,” our minds left us -- all those instruments, in all those minutes, all galloping after that C. We’d always known classical was inventive; we’d just never heard inventiveness so hypnotic, so direct,…
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Music, Hear This The Octopus Project: Show Preview

The Octopus Project: Show Preview

The near-decade since the Octopus Project's debut, Identification Parade, has seen the Austin quartet refine and expand its sound — a kind of musical rapture the members like to refer to as "ambidextrous equipment failure junktronica" — from electronic micro-wankery to…
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Music, All Shook Down What To Do? Wednesday's Pick: Kronos Quartet

What To Do? Wednesday's Pick: Kronos Quartet

Kronos Quartet's 4 Fences @ Z SpaceIt's no stretch to call the Kronos Quartet iconic; the string foursome's very name has become shorthand for visionary, genre-blind exploration. And rightly so. Its lineup changing ever so gradually over the past 38…
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Music, Hear This Sticking Their Necks Out

Sticking Their Necks Out

While Australian trio the Necks is often categorized as jazz, the group actually takes its influence from Krautrockers such as Neu! and minimalists like Philip Glass and Terry Riley. When they perform, the lads usually introduce a simple, improvised melodic…
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Music, Reviewed Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros

At age 76, composer Pauline Oliveros occupies a considerable role as the grand dame of modern electronic art music. A Mills College professor for almost three decades, she combined accordion, electronics, and instincts to develop Deep Listening, an environmentally mindful,…
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Music, Reviewed Kronos Quartet and Wu Man

Kronos Quartet and Wu Man

San Francisco's Kronos Quartet is globally renowned for championing the works of contemporary classical composers. Though Terry Riley's profile isn't as high as that of colleagues Philip Glass and Steve Reich, he is one of the key 1960s innovators of…
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Music, Reviewed Wooden Shjips

Wooden Shjips

Metronomic single-chord mantras have provided the basis for gorgeously hypnotic music, from the repetitive compositions of Terry Riley through the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray" to Krautrock bands like Faust and Can. So while Wooden Shjips aren't totally breaking new ground…
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Music, Disco Braniacs

Disco Braniacs

Local electronic duo Matmos is notorious for using unusual sound sources — liposuction surgery, amplified crayfish nerves — on its recordings, and the group's upcoming release The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast is no exception. The…
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Music, Pop Philosophy Zappa and Spooky and Grainger -- oh my!

Zappa and Spooky and Grainger -- oh my!

Open your mind and your art will follow During the 1986 BBC documentary West Coast Story: Frontiers of New Music, when a journalist asks John Cage why he never stays with one style of work, the esteemed composer answers, "Thoreau…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Early in his career Bay Area saxophonist George Brooks (left, with Zakir Hussain) explored a range of disparate genres, from traditional and avant-garde jazz to roadhouse blues and modern classical. But in recent years he's become most at home with…
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Culture, Stage

Josephine the Mouse Singer

"Josephine the Singer, or, the Mouse Folk" is one of Franz Kafka's concept-fables, a vision of a cartoon world where animals do funny things that throw light on human behavior. A community of mice, in this case, worships a squeaky…
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Music,

Uncharted Territories

Terry Riley isn't an easy person to track down. At least his albums aren't: I was in a record store recently looking for the Lisbon Concert, his brilliant 1995 recording of his own solo piano music, recorded on the final…
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Music,

Hear This

Terry Riley One of the founders of the school of minimalism and an alleged inspiration for the New Age movement, California pianist and electronics innovator Terry Riley has had a fascinating and somewhat controversial career since joining the ranks of…
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