Yesterday I attended a concert by GVSU's New Music Ensemble. They performed "In C" by Terry Riley, a "minimalist masterpiece" completed in 1964. Their new CD, "In C Remixed," got a great review in the Newsweek (October 12, 2009). The composition was printed on the back of the program--it is 53 measures long & each musician must start at the beginning and go forward in order, but is free to decide when to begin playing, how many times to repeat the measure, what octave to play it in, what variations to play, etc. What could be chaotic is instead richly layered, both rhythmically & harmonically, sometimes sounding like John Adams, sometimes like whale songs, sometimes just like itself. It was beautiful.
When I returned to the office, I realized that we didn't own the cd, & am ordering it for the Library. Thus what was originally just an ordinary liaisoning event became a collection development opportunity.