Terry Riley – A Rainbow in Curved Air

A Rainbow in Curved Air, Terry Riley’s fourth piece, was a revelation to me as not only had I not heard it before but I wasn’t aware of just how far-reaching and influential it was. Truly a watershed in modern music, “Rainbow” allowed a whole new generation and breed of musician to run with the idea of multiple overdubs to create a new Wall of Sound from one performer, an idea first posited by Les Paul.

Riley’s use of primarily electronic instruments gives the whole experience a “Space Age” feel that, although sounding slightly dated in an era of MIDI sequencing and DAWs, is still compositionally fresh.


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