Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra playing Terry Riley’s In C, Live Recording on Radio

Adrian Utley

A word in from Jim Morrish, who helms the Centrifugal show on UCC98.3FM, a show you can catch on Tuesdays at 1pm.

It relates to a special broadcast, under the auspices of Centrifugal, which happens next Friday at 5.30pm.

Here’s Jim.

We’re broadcasting what we believe is a radio world first, this recording in its 61 minute entirety. We also have a quick interview with Mr Adrian ‘Portishead’ Utley beforehand.

What recording? you ask. Read on for details of something that genuinely qualifies as unmissable.

Utley brings together an orchestra of electric guitar players to interpret Terry Riley’s ‘In C’. Written in 1964,‘In C’ is one of the most influential pieces of music from the 20th Century, it established minimalism as a music genre. In C’s simple musical rules – 53 musical phrases in C and no duration – allow for infinite variations.

Utley’s impressive Guitar Orchestra is augmented by organs and a clarinet making for a mesmeric sound experience. The Guitar Orchestra consists of 24 musicians from Bristol: 19 guitarists including John Parish (PJ Harvey), Thought Forms, and Jim Barr (Portishead live band); 4 organs and a bass clarinet.

“I’ve been exploring the sonic possibilities of massed guitars for a while now in various contexts from pure noise to the sacred choral music of Arvo Part. So it was interesting to see what would happen if we had 20 electric guitars plus organs playing ‘In C’. It is an amazing piece of writing and original thought. A new free idea of organised group playing. The beginnings of what we know as minimalism.” (Adrian Utley)

The performance was recorded live at St Georges Hall, Bristol, one of Britain’s leading concert halls which is known for its astounding acoustic and unique atmosphere. Watch a clip of this performance below, in a video put together by John Minton who is also responsible for Portishead’s visuals.

OK then, Friday at 5.30pm it is. UCC98.3FM on your wireless or ucc.ie/983fm online.

Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra – In C Preview from Mintonfilm on Vimeo.

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