Boomkat Product Review:
"There have been numerous recordings of Terry Riley's In C. Written for any number of performers, playing any instruments, and with its loose, semi-improvised score, the range of approaches to the piece since it was first composed in 1964 has been one of its defining features. You can recognise the family resemblance between many of the varied recordings, but some have definitely been rather odd-looking - all-piano or all-flute versions, Chinese film orchestra, noise rock, etc. It's hard to think of a musical genre that hasn't weighed in with its own take on the piece. The idea behind the Invisible Polytechnic's scoring of the piece was to offer a counterpoint to that on the original LP by the composer's ensemble in 1968. Riley used only woodwind, brass and percussion, and the record as a whole is very bright, percussive, zippy. This is partly a result of the faster tempo he takes it at (Riley didn't specify the tempo or the instrumentation), and partly due to the timbres used. Invisible Polytechnic wanted to have a "much more rounded, rich, autumnal sound": "This came from using the viola, the hurdy gurdy, the bass strings of a harp, the bamboo flute and the bassoon. As most of the instruments were in the midrange, it opened up perceptual space for the remainder. The idea was to combine instruments from different traditions (classical, Western folk, early music, world) in a way that didn't proclaim the intention to be a FUSION PROJECT." The other variation between this recording and others is the frequent use of augmentation of the rhythms. Augmenting a rhythm means playing it at half-speed (or quarter-, eighth-, etc.). There are quite a few figures played at sixteenth speed. This adds a lot of musical tension, creating pedal points that allow what is happening above to take on a different hue. This contributes to the feel of this record, which is definitely quite a mellow version of the piece, compared with some of the other recordings. It concludes with a field recording of the space of the original site of performance in November 1964, the San Francisco Tape Music Center, which is now a yoga studio. "