• Terry Riley
  • Olson III (1966)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • any vocal and instrumental combination
  • 25 min

Programme Note

Any number of instrumentalists and voices are allowed but it was conceived for forces of 65 or larger. Any instrument can play as well as any voice.

Olson lll was composed in Stockholm Sweden in April of 1967. Composer Folke Rabe had arranged for this work to be commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music and Sveriges Radio and it was written for young musicians at the community music school in Nacka Sweden, a suburb of Stockholm. It is based on a miniature cyclic poem "begin to think about how we are to be to."

It was written 3 years after In C with the intent of using hard core repetition as a form of ritual. It was a step toward a more primal form using only one note value to deliver its raw blatant energy.

The premiere caused a scandal and the music director at school resigned in protest against its performance shortly after the premiere.