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Matt Starling, founder of the Salt Lake Electric Ensemble, returns with a lesser known but equally impressive Terry Riley composition, "Dorian Reeds" for solo performer, microphone and two tape recorders, performed by Starling on flugelhorn and layered in the studio.

Starling, Matt
Terry Riley's Dorian Reeds (For Brass)

Starling, Matt: Terry Riley's Dorian Reeds (For Brass) (Self Released)

Label: Self Released    
Released in: USA    

"In 2009, Matt Starling (formerly Matt Dixon) founded the Salt Lake Electric Ensemble, an electronic music and multimedia performing group with acoustic touches. The group of 8 artists initially came together to perform American composer Terry Riley's classic 1964 minimalist composition In C, marking the first time the score had been approached primarily with electronic instruments. The ensemble went on to turn heads in the contemporary art music community with the 2010 release of their recording of the piece, which earned critical praise throughout North America and Europe:

"[The Salt Lake Electric Ensemble's recording of In C] is nothing short of a revelation. . . . [It's] already the most important addition to the discography since the premiere recording, and will likewise be recognized as part of a performance tradition that is a vital and remarkably apt expression of the present cultural moment."

-Dr. Rob Haskins, Writing for American Record Guide, Associate Professor of Music, University of New Hampshire

Now, Starling has recorded another score by Riley. The result

is Dorian Reeds (For Brass), an adaptation of another of Riley's 1964 compositions, this one for solo performer, microphone and two tape recorders.

The piece had only been recorded with a soprano saxophone up until this point. Starling, a brass instrumentalist since childhood, chose to record the piece using the flugelhorn due to its warm, captivating tone and its depth of sound when layered according to the instructions in the score. The production process began near the urban beaches of João Pessoa, Brazil with the recording of each portion of the score. The parts were then edited, arranged, mixed, and mastered in Starling's production studio in Salt Lake

City, UT, USA. While this particular piece had previously been approached mainly through live performance, Starling instead chose to produce the music over the course of several months in the recording studio, allowing him to leverage several powerful music technologies including high resolution digital audio (24/96), sophisticated computer audio editing, digital signal processing, and precision mixing tools. The result is pure hypnotic minimalism, with a pulsating and constantly evolving texture.

Matt Starling holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Utah, and a Master of Music Technology degree from IUPUI in Indianapolis, IN. Commissioned performances with the Salt Lake Electric Ensemble have included the Utah Arts Festival, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, IUPUI, Music at Main (Salt Lake City Public Library), and the Salt Lake Arts Council's Brown Bag Concert Series (2010-2013). He is also active as a music journalist, music educator, audio engineer, and composer."

"This was a 1964 work by Terry Riley, quite different from his 1968 big hit of A Rainbow In Curved Air (Columbia), and clearly outdoing even the familiar repetition of Steve Reich in this work which at the time he did using a sax, mic and two tape recorders, with the tape strung out across the room to get a delay from one recorder to the other. Riley has been a genius at pulling together strands of Eastern music, the avant-garde and jazz. He has been a leader in minimalism and this work most certainly is that. He likes to improvise thru a series of modal figures in various lengths, and this one uses the Dorian mode - hence its name. The piece has been done before using a soprano sax, but Starling wanted to do it on Flugelhorn. Starling used the more modern and more easily-controlled computers to create his recording, which was realized as a studio project rather than a live performance as Riley usually did. He created many modules and ended up using the best 10% or so to piece together for this recording. The computers emulated the tape loop process which Riley had originally used. The hi-res recording highlights the subtle changes in the sounds better than a standard CD would do, but it was still a bit too much minimalism for me. Starling not only played the Flugelhorn, but was also editor, arranger, recording engineer, mixer and mastering engineer for this recording."-John Sunier,

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Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Recordings featuring brass instruments - trumpets, trombones, tubas, other horns
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
New in Compositional Music

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Product Information:

UPC: 889211445226

Label: Self Released
Catalog ID: None
Squidco Product Code: 20548

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded in Joao Pessoa, Brazil by Matt Starling.


Terry Riley-composer

Matt Starling-flugelhorn

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Track Listing:

1. Dorian Reeds 42:25