“Create a culture that invites ideas in.” | Advice from Composer Terry Riley | Louisiana Channel



“If you know what you are doing in the arts, then you are doing it wrong. If you don’t know what you are doing, then you are on the right track.” Pioneering American composer Terry Riley shares his advice with young artists.

Terry Riley has composed music for decades and finds it hard to give general advice because he needs to know the person asking for it. “Everyone is so unique, and their needs are so unique. The only general advice I can give is: What are you passionate about? That’s telling you what you should be doing,” he says. Riley has been pursuing his passion for music “that is what I want to fill my life up with every day.”

For Riley, an artist must be “open to the whole world of possibilities. As an artist, you have to create a culture that invites ideas in.”

Terry Riley (b. 1935) is an American composer and performing musician. He is a pioneer of the minimalist school of composition, which was launched with his composition ‘In C’ (1964), which is today considered a classic. In 1969 Riley released ‘A Rainbow in Curved Air’, also considered a landmark of minimalism. Riley has composed numerous works and inspired composers such as Phillip Glass and Steve Reich and influenced experimental music, rock, and contemporary electronic music. Riley’s collaborators include the Kronos Quartet and John Zorn. London Sunday Times listed Terry Riley as “one of the 1000 makers of the 20th Century.”

Terry Riley was interviewed by Jens H. Jensen in Yamanashi, Japa,n in June 2022.

Cameras: Yudai Maruyama

Edit: Signe Boe Pedersen

Produced by Christian Lund & Signe Boe Pedersen

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, C.L. Davids Fond og Samling and Fritz Hansen.

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