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Choreographing 'In C'

Hill, Sarah ORCID: 2013. Choreographing 'In C'. Presented at: Left Coast Minimalism: 4th International Conference on Minimalist Music, Long Beach, CA, 3-6 October 2013.

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The premiere of Terry Riley’s In C coincided with the dawn of psychedelia in San Francisco. The work’s history, embedded as it is in the landscape and creative environment of the city, is also entangled with the general search for spiritual transcendence that many in the burgeoning local counterculture undertook with the aid of peyote, mescaline and LSD. Riley’s own belief in the shamanic power of music infuses In C with a sense of its chronological moment, and it this sense of ‘moment’ that carried the first recording of the piece (Columbia, 1968) through the turbulent end years of the decade, its label promising listeners ‘the only legal trip you can take.’ The 1968 Columbia recording also inspired San Francisco Ballet choreographer Carlos Carvajal to create Genesis 70, a 40-minute metaphysical journey, and one of the last creative utterances of the fading local psychedelic counterculture. It is my intention in this paper to explore the little-known Genesis 70, not only as a piece of choreography, but also as a limited, live performance of In C. I will draw on extensive personal interviews with Carlos Carvajal, as well as documentary and archive sources, and consider this work as one of a number of notable interactions of the psychedelic ‘underground’ with the mainstream culture of San Francisco in the 1960s.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Additional Information: Held at: Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, California State University.
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2023 02:32

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