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Acclaimed GVSU New Music Ensemble to release third CD

Posted on April 08, 2010

The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, whose first two recordings garnered international attention, will release a third recording on April 27. The ensemble was founded and is directed by associate professor of music Bill Ryan.

The new CD, "Terry Riley: In C," features the ensemble's exemplary performance of the work recorded live at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge, last year on November 8. The 16-person ensemble included special guest New York electronic producer/composer Dennis DeSantis on laptop and effects.

Riley's 1964 pioneering work of minimalism, "In C" comprises 53 brief musical "cells" lasting from half a beat to 32 beats and can be played by any number of musicians, on any instruments. Performances have lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours.

The New Music Ensemble performance is 65 minutes of pulses, note clusters and undulating walls of sound, with DeSantis' electronic noises adding to the other worldly tone of the performance. It will be released worldwide by Ghostly International as the first in a series of collaborative releases with Wordless Music, a New York City-based organization devoted to the idea that the worlds of classical and contemporary instrumental music share much in common.

The New Music Ensemble took the national stage in 2007, with a stunning at-dawn performance of Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," at the 25th Bang on a Can Marathon in New York's World Financial Center. The group's previous CD releases in 2007 and 2009 were named to numerous national "best of" lists. Last summer, the group performed in Carnegie Hall as part of an all-star lineup of musicians assembled by the Kronos Quartet to celebrate the 45th anniversary of "In C."

For more information or photos, contact Bill Ryan, at (616) 331-3087 or, or visit


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