Descending Moonshine Dervishes by Terry Riley – selected by Cheval Sombre

Isolationism, confinement, solitude.

Filled with woe, a friend recently said, “This…is harder for some, than others.”

Everyone’s scrambling. Every one.

Photographer Peter Beard recently vanished somehow – seemed to have simply stepped away, into the oblivion of the wilderness. Where do we all go, when all gets too much? What refuge exists?

Terry Riley’s music is a secret music. A music discovered decades ago on a library shelf, by accident even, containing very definitely, a world, a refuge – a place to go. This is music one cannot prepare for, but music which never intrudes, music always waiting to be discovered, music which ultimately offers a beginning.

Descending Moonshine Dervishes is a record where you can go. There are no words, no distractions. No concepts, no conceits, no agendas. Once started, a slowing down, happens. The chattering – the incessant chattering with which we are all inundated – is quieted, and if you will allow it, something radiant is introduced, instead. A swell builds, gently rising, undulating. Light accumulates. Yes – light, accumulates. And suddenly, wait – how long have you been listening? How far have I come? For how long have I been gone? It becomes wonderfully impossible to know. As the record continues, a fading takes place – questions, language, worry – all becomes swallowed, engulfed somehow by a glinting shimmering.

This is music which brings forth what you have to offer, without making demands. Suddenly, at any potential moment in the piece, you find yourself giving, creating, living – no longer suffering from deprivations, from being without. You become reacquainted with your own spirit, and in doing so, a subtle exhilaration spreads. An alchemy has taken place and you have found a home for yourself in yourself, amidst some kind of open field of pure sound and light. Illumination comes – everything is at once, miraculously, in its place.

What a gift.

When it ends, no need to worry – just start over.