Nic Pendlebury / Dorian Reeds


05:30-05:45, Sunlight Stage
Sunday 19 June
Part of the Dawn Programme

As dawn breaks on the beach, Nic Pendlebury performs Terry Riley’s Minimalist masterpiece, Dorian Reeds.

Written in 1964 this seminal work provided a new concept in musical form which would become known as Minimalism and was based on interlocking repetitive often hypnotic musical patterns. Its impact was to change the course of 20th Century music and laid the compositional path for a new generation of composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams and was hugely influential for Rock Groups such as The Who, Soft Machine, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, Curved Air and Pulp.

As Nic says “I first met Terry Riley when the Smith Quartet was invited to perform with him at the Barbican Centre in London alongside the rock group Pulp in a performance of his revolutionary classic In C. This is my interpretation of Terry Riley’s 1965 work for Saxophone and digital delay Dorian Reeds. The piece explores the repetition of simple patterns which accumulate and dissipate, slowly taking on a rhythmic life of their own and eventually disappearing. The motifs are pre-designed and centred around the Dorian Mode (essentially a scale using only the white notes on a piano, starting on D).  In this version I have contributed some of my own motifs and sonic ideas although much of each performance is left to improvisation, so no two performances are alike.

The sound design by John-Marc Gowans is based on the original Terry Riley recording – the tape delay settings chosen by Terry Riley have been used as the basis for a further evolution of the delay system, employing additional multiple delay lines and applying them not just to the notational audio input but also to interactive aspects of tone, balance and spatial movement.

Each interactive element in the new sound design is given its own compositional mathematical relationship to the whole.”

Nic Pendlebury, 2022

Nic will also be performing Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint as part of our Saturday line up. Click here to find out more.


Click here for the full Sunlight Stage line up



Performances on the Sunlight Stage are viewable from the beach, trackway and Jubilee parade. Please note this is public access and not a managed viewing area. Seating is not provided.

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