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Representing the Great State of Michigan

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Charles T. Downey, Grand Valley State ensemble re-imagines Riley’s ‘In C’
Washington Post, November 11, 2011

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Terry Riley, In C Remixed,
Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble
Mobtown Modern, Baltimore’s cutting-edge contemporary music series, has severed ties with the Contemporary Museum, which used to host its concerts. At issue was the change of the executive director at the museum; happily, a new partnership, as of yet unannounced, is in the works for next year. Meanwhile, the series’ curators have invited performers to present contemporary music in the 2640 Space, a charming venue inside the somewhat run-down sanctuary of a Methodist church.

On Wednesday night, it was the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, a group of hardworking undergraduate students from Michigan who have gained notice in the new-music community for two well-received recordings and a certain savvy with YouTube. The group’s most recent recording combines a performance of Terry Riley’s “In C” with remixes of its performance made by several more recent composers. This concert ended with three of those remixes, arranged to involve live performers, yielding a kaleidoscopic refraction of this landmark minimalist work, from the hypnotic crescendo of Zoe Keating’s “Zinc” to the childlike clowning of Jad Abumrad’s “Counting in C.”
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