Program Book 1999-2000 page 30
Concert IV Program Notes, continued

solo works for electronic keyboards and soprano saxophone, and pioneered the use of various kinds of tape delay in live performance. These hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric, brightly orchestrated, eastern-flavored improvisations set the stage for the New Age movement that was to appear a decade or so later.

Riley's solo keyboard and piano concerts have become somewhat legendary due to his unique blending of eastern and western styles and the unusual all-night solo concerts he gave in the 1960's. He was listed in the London Sunday Times as one of the 1000 Makers of the 20th Century.

Riley has continued to write for saxophone from time to time. In 1987, he composed a major saxophone quartet based on Celtic mythology entitled Chanting the Light of Foresight. His newest work for saxophone, Mandala Miniatures, was composed for the Amherst Saxophone Quartet. The composer contacted Susan Fancher in December of 1998 describing the new saxophone quartet he was beginning to compose. He wrote, "I am working on a new sax quartet called Mandala Miniatures, which is a series of short pieces that I am quite happy with ... 1 am not sure of what the final duration will be as I am still writing more, but I think at least 20 minutes and possibly between 25 and 30 minutes as some of these little guys have gotten a bit hefty. Still, I am trying to hold to the miniature idea."

Stephen Parisi (b. 1955) was born in Buffalo to music loving parents who started him on piano at the age of seven. By the time he was 10 he had written over 50 compositions. His passion for music and ambition to become a composer led him to the University at Buffalo on a full Fine Arts Scholarship. He studied piano with Yvar Mikhashoff and composition with Leo Smit and obtained a Masters of Fine Arts in Music degree. Parisi is head of the music department at Christian Central Academy.

He has written numerous works for the Amherst Saxophone Quartet. His first piece commissioned by the ASQ was performed at Carnegie Hall in 1982 and recorded in 1984. His music is characterized by facility, heartfelt melodies, syncopated rhythms, counterpoint, and lush jazz harmonies.

Program Book design & original cover
artwork: Stephen Rosenthal
Cover Photograph: K.C. Kratt

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book Program Notes