Steve Reich
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1936-10-03
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74
Steve Reich Steve Reich Steve Reich Steve Reich

Biography

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 ...

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Biography

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.

Profile © Paul Griffiths



Tracks

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Steve Reich, Solisti New York & Ransom Wilson
Vermont Counterpoint
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Vermont Counterpoint Vermont Counterpoint Vermont Counterpoint Vermont Counterpoint
Steve Reich & Steve Reich and Musicians
Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ [excerpt]
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Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ [excerpt] Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ [excerpt] Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ [excerpt] Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ [excerpt]
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians: Section II
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Music for 18 Musicians: Section II Music for 18 Musicians: Section II Music for 18 Musicians: Section II Music for 18 Musicians: Section II
Steve Reich
4. Slow
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4. Slow 4. Slow 4. Slow 4. Slow
Steve Reich
Drumming Part II
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Drumming Part II Drumming Part II Drumming Part II Drumming Part II
Steve Reich, Alarm Will Sound & Alan Pierson
Radio Rewrite - Fast
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Radio Rewrite - Fast Radio Rewrite - Fast Radio Rewrite - Fast Radio Rewrite - Fast
Mahan Esfahani, Steve Reich & Mahan Esfahani
Piano Phase For 2 Pianos [or 2 Marimbas]
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Piano Phase For 2 Pianos [or 2 Marimbas] Piano Phase For 2 Pianos [or 2 Marimbas] Piano Phase For 2 Pianos [or 2 Marimbas] Piano Phase For 2 Pianos [or 2 Marimbas]
Feargus Brennan, Steve Reich & Barnaby Archer
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas Nagoya Marimbas Nagoya Marimbas Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich, Alarm Will Sound & Alan Pierson & Ossia
The Desert Music: III. Pt. 1, Slow
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The Desert Music: III. Pt. 1, Slow The Desert Music: III. Pt. 1, Slow The Desert Music: III. Pt. 1, Slow The Desert Music: III. Pt. 1, Slow
Steve Reich
It's Gonna Rain (Part II)
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It's Gonna Rain (Part II) It's Gonna Rain (Part II) It's Gonna Rain (Part II) It's Gonna Rain (Part II)
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians: Section I
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Music for 18 Musicians: Section I Music for 18 Musicians: Section I Music for 18 Musicians: Section I Music for 18 Musicians: Section I
Steve Reich, Ariana Kim, Guillaume Pirard & The Knights
Duet for 2 violins and strings
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Duet for 2 violins and strings Duet for 2 violins and strings Duet for 2 violins and strings Duet for 2 violins and strings
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians: Pulses II
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Music for 18 Musicians: Pulses II Music for 18 Musicians: Pulses II Music for 18 Musicians: Pulses II Music for 18 Musicians: Pulses II
Steve Reich, Synergy Vocals, Ensemble BPM & Nick Sutcliffe
Three Tales: Hindenburg
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Three Tales: Hindenburg Three Tales: Hindenburg Three Tales: Hindenburg Three Tales: Hindenburg
Steve Reich, Synergy Vocals, Ensemble BPM & Nick Sutcliffe
Three Tales: Dolly (extract)
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Three Tales: Dolly (extract) Three Tales: Dolly (extract) Three Tales: Dolly (extract) Three Tales: Dolly (extract)
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint
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Electric Counterpoint Electric Counterpoint Electric Counterpoint Electric Counterpoint
Steve Reich & Smith Quartet
Duet for 2 violins and strings
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Duet for 2 violins and strings Duet for 2 violins and strings Duet for 2 violins and strings Duet for 2 violins and strings
Steve Reich & Kronos Quartet
Different Trains; 1st mvt, America – Before the War
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Different Trains; 1st mvt, America – Before the War Different Trains; 1st mvt, America – Before the War Different Trains; 1st mvt, America – Before the War Different Trains; 1st mvt, America – Before the War
Steve Reich & Kuniko Kato
Vermont Counterpoint (version for vibraphone) (arr. K. Kuniko)
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Vermont Counterpoint (version for vibraphone) (arr. K. Kuniko) Vermont Counterpoint (version for vibraphone) (arr. K. Kuniko) Vermont Counterpoint (version for vibraphone) (arr. K. Kuniko) Vermont Counterpoint (version for vibraphone) (arr. K. Kuniko)
Steve Reich
Bikini (Parts 1, 2, 4, 7 & 8)
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Bikini (Parts 1, 2, 4, 7 & 8) Bikini (Parts 1, 2, 4, 7 & 8) Bikini (Parts 1, 2, 4, 7 & 8) Bikini (Parts 1, 2, 4, 7 & 8)
Guildhall Percussion & Steve Reich
Music for Pieces of Wood
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Music for Pieces of Wood Music for Pieces of Wood Music for Pieces of Wood Music for Pieces of Wood
Steve Reich
Different Trains
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Different Trains Different Trains Different Trains Different Trains
Steve Reich & Steve Reich and Musicians
Music For 18 Musicians
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Music For 18 Musicians Music For 18 Musicians Music For 18 Musicians Music For 18 Musicians
Steve Reich
Clapping For 2 Musicians
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Clapping For 2 Musicians Clapping For 2 Musicians Clapping For 2 Musicians Clapping For 2 Musicians
Steve Reich
Four Organs
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Four Organs Four Organs Four Organs Four Organs
Steve Reich
Tehillim
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Tehillim Tehillim Tehillim Tehillim
Caleb Burhans, Courtney Orlando, Steve Reich, Thompson, Chris, Michael Harley, Brown, Miles, Matt Smallcomb, John Orfe, Elisabeth Stimpert, Freund, Stefan, Nathan Schram & Erin Lesser
Radio Rewrite: I. Fast
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Radio Rewrite: I. Fast Radio Rewrite: I. Fast Radio Rewrite: I. Fast Radio Rewrite: I. Fast
Pat Metheny & Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint (Fast)
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Electric Counterpoint (Fast) Electric Counterpoint (Fast) Electric Counterpoint (Fast) Electric Counterpoint (Fast)
Steve Reich & Bob Becker, James Preiss (marimbas)
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas Nagoya Marimbas Nagoya Marimbas Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich, Brad Lubman & Steve Reid Ensemble
City Life
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City Life City Life City Life City Life
Sam Walton, Steve Reich & Colin Currie
Nagoya marimbas for 2 marimbas
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Nagoya marimbas for 2 marimbas Nagoya marimbas for 2 marimbas Nagoya marimbas for 2 marimbas Nagoya marimbas for 2 marimbas
Kronos Quartet & Steve Reich
Different trains, 3rd movement: ‘After the war’
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Different trains, 3rd movement: ‘After the war’ Different trains, 3rd movement: ‘After the war’ Different trains, 3rd movement: ‘After the war’ Different trains, 3rd movement: ‘After the war’
Steve Reich, BBC Singers, Endymion Ensemble & David Hill
The Desert music for 27 voices and orchestra
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The Desert music for 27 voices and orchestra The Desert music for 27 voices and orchestra The Desert music for 27 voices and orchestra The Desert music for 27 voices and orchestra

The Desert music for 27 voices and orchestra

Composer
Choir
BBC Singers
Ensemble
Endymion Ensemble
Conductor
David Hill
Jonny Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood & Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast
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Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast
Jeremy Shaw, Jony Rockstar, Steve Reich, Howie B & Howie B
Eight Lines (Howie B Remix)
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Eight Lines (Howie B Remix) Eight Lines (Howie B Remix) Eight Lines (Howie B Remix) Eight Lines (Howie B Remix)
Steve Reich & Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Clapping Music
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Clapping Music Clapping Music Clapping Music Clapping Music
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint - 3. Fast
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Electric Counterpoint - 3. Fast Electric Counterpoint - 3. Fast Electric Counterpoint - 3. Fast Electric Counterpoint - 3. Fast
Ensemble Amadinda & Steve Reich
Music for Pieces of Wood
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Music for Pieces of Wood Music for Pieces of Wood Music for Pieces of Wood Music for Pieces of Wood
Steve Reich
Radio Re-write
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Radio Re-write Radio Re-write Radio Re-write Radio Re-write
Pat Metheny
Electric Counterpoint: 3. Fast
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Electric Counterpoint: 3. Fast Electric Counterpoint: 3. Fast Electric Counterpoint: 3. Fast Electric Counterpoint: 3. Fast
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