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Terry Riley

Publisher: AMP

Be Kind To One Another (2008)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
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Programme Note
Terry Riley Be Kind To One Another (2008)
Composer note:

As with many other of my piano works, BKTOAR began as a late night improvisation. It's gentle inviting atmosphere with interjected old timey ragtime references and somewhat naïve and at times romantic atmosphere hooked me from the beginning and it soon became a hit with my then, very young twin grand children, who always wanted me to play it for them as they snuggled into bed at night.

In its improvised version, it is basically laid out in four related sections (A,B,C and D) and it can take many forms with each section being repeated and extemporized upon as many times as desired before moving on to the next. When the last section is concluded it can jump back to any one of the first three sections and from there create different variations on each section until ending usually on section B.

When Sarah Cahill told me about her songs for peace project, I decided to contribute this work and to make a throughcomposed concert version, somewhat more virtuosic and grander than the original improv. I gave the material a more overall long arching structure and I added related interludes and developments that were not in the improvisations.

The title is taken from something Alice Walker said at a gathering which took place in the days immediately following 9/11 as she was introducing the eminent Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Her words struck me as the most profound response of all coming out of that calamity.

"We must learn to be kind to one another now."

— Terry Riley

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