- Clips (9)Latest ClipMasters of Minimalism: Steve Reich
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- Masters of Minimalism: Steve Reichhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02vf04s.jpg2015-06-23T23:00:00ZReich reveals how his approach has evolved from tape loop experiments to large ensembles.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p02vf056Selected ClipSelected ClipVideo 7 mins
Masters of Minimalism: Steve Reich
- What is minimalism?http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02vdzsy.jpg2015-06-23T23:00:00ZAlthough not big fans of the term, Steve Reich and Philip Glass explain the concept of minimalism and what it means to them.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p02vdzxqSelected ClipSelected ClipVideo 3 mins
What is minimalism?
- Steve Reich in Six Partshttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02szj3b.jpg2015-06-17T09:00:00ZComposer Steve Reich shares his influential journey through music.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p02szj4zSelected ClipSelected ClipVideo 4 mins
Steve Reich in Six Parts
- The Impact of John Coltrane's A Love Supremehttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02j77l2.jpg2015-02-03T00:30:00ZAlice Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Ashley Kahn, Steve Reich and Evan Parker discuss the impact of John Coltrane's classic album A Love Supremehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p02j77t8Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 5 mins
The Impact of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme
- Steve Reich speaks to Stuarthttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p024cggh.jpg2014-08-07T14:10:00ZStuart speaks to the iconic minimalist composer Steve Reich about his most celebrated compositions in an interview recorded in 2006 around Reich's 70th birthday.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p024cghtSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 23 mins
Steve Reich speaks to Stuart
- Reich: Music for 18 Musicianshttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vzyqg.jpg2014-07-04T15:52:00ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Tom Service talks about Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p0225ldrSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 3 mins
Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
- Steve Reichhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01zh2qp.jpg2014-05-21T09:38:00ZDonald Macleod talks exclusively to one of the world's most celebrated living composers, Steve Reich.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p01zh2r9Selected ClipSelected ClipAudio 52 mins
- Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicianshttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w10y1.jpg2014-03-21T16:21:00ZHoward Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p01w10yfSelected ClipSelected ClipAudio 7 mins
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
- How modern classical music got its groove backhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p0159p30.jpg2013-02-19T18:10:00ZIn the 1960s, american minimalist composers returned harmony and rhythm to music.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74?clipfocus=p0159p32Selected ClipSelected ClipVideo 2 mins
How modern classical music got its groove back
Clips from Similar Artists
Steve Reich has followed a line of impressive consistency through more than four decades, developing the pulsed iterations of US Minimalism into music of ever greater intricacy and range without loss of excitement. A philosophy major at Cornell (1953–7), he then studied composition at the Juilliard School (1958–61) and with Darius Milhaud and Luciano Berio at Mills College, in the San Francisco Bay Area (1962–3). Remaining there for two more years to work at the Tape Music Center, he returned to New York, which has been his home ever since.
He quickly established his own studio and began giving performances in downtown galleries. His music at this point was based on repetitions in two or more lines drifting apart, an idea that sprang from the effect of loops being played on two tape recorders that gradually got out of phase: hence his use of the word ‘phasing’ for processes of this kind. An essential feature, at first, was that the process should be frankly presented; besides phasing it might be a matter of steadily adding notes to a repeating figure, or taking them away, as in Four Organs (1970).That year he visited Ghana to study drumming, and returned to found his own ensemble based on tuned percussion instruments, Steve Reich and Musicians, with whom he immediately began touring internationally. A little later he studied the percussion-ensemble music of Bali – not in situ this time, but on the USA’s west coast.
Meanwhile his group grew in size. and his music in richness of colour and harmony – a long-range process in itself that began with the classic Drumming (1970–1) and culminated in Music for 18 Musicians (1974–6). The spectacular success of that work, in concert and on record, encouraged him to publish his music, which hitherto he had confined to his own group. He also began to receive orchestral commissions, all the while increasing the subtlety of sound and design within his personal style of repeating modal figures that gain rhythmic vitality from metric ambiguity (generally about the grouping of 12 beats in threes or fours).
In 1976–7 he turned to his own Jewish heritage in studying traditional chanting, a departure that gave rise to Tehillim for women’s voices and small orchestra (1981), setting verses from the psalms. In some works, notably Different Trains for string quartet and electronics (1988), he also brought back a technique from his first tape pieces, of using fragments of recorded speech, now as melodic formulae to be imitated by instruments.
He went on to work with video recordings (by his wife Beryl Korot) in combination with recorded and live music in his two biggest pieces: The Cave (1990–93), a skein of Israeli, Palestinian and US responses to biblical myth, and Three Tales (1998–2002), about the limits and losses of modern technology.
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