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

Steve Reich Biography (BBC)

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

Steve Reich Biography (Wikipedia)

Stephen Michael Reich ( born October 3, 1936) is an American composer who, along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass, pioneered minimal music in the mid to late 1960s.

Reich's work is marked by its use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm, and canons. His innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns, as on the early compositions It's Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966), and the use of simple, audible processes, as on Pendulum Music (1968) and Four Organs (1970). The 1978 recording Music for 18 Musicians would help entrench minimalism as a movement. Reich's work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably Different Trains (1988).

Reich's style of composition has influenced many contemporary composers and groups, especially in the US. Writing in The Guardian, music critic Andrew Clements suggested that Reich is one of "a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history". The American composer and critic Kyle Gann has said that Reich "may ... be considered, by general acclamation, America's greatest living composer".

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Steve Reich Performances & Interviews


Steve Reich Tracks

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Steve Reich
Proverb
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Proverb

Proverb

Composer
Ensemble
Colin Currie Group
Conductor
Steve Reich
Clapping Music
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Clapping Music
Steve Reich
Different Trains: After the War
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Different Trains: After the War
Steve Reich
Piano Phase
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Piano Phase
Steve Reich
Desert Music
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Desert Music
Steve Reich
Different Trains (America, Before the War)
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Different Trains (America, Before the War)
Steve Reich
Duet
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Duet

Duet

Composer
Performer
Daniel Hope
Simos Papanas
Orchestra
Basel Chamber Orchestra
Last played on
Steve Reich
Music For a Large Ensemble
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Music For a Large Ensemble
Steve Reich
Clapping music for 2 musicians [clapping or woodblocks]
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Clapping music for 2 musicians [clapping or woodblocks]
Steve Reich
Sextet (5th mvt)
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Sextet (5th mvt)
Steve Reich
Mallet Quartet: III. Fast
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Mallet Quartet: III. Fast

Mallet Quartet: III. Fast

Composer
Ensemble
Colin Currie Group
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians [Ruoho Ruotsi Dub Remix]
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Music for 18 Musicians [Ruoho Ruotsi Dub Remix]
Steve Reich
New York Counterpoint (3rd mvt)
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New York Counterpoint (3rd mvt)
Steve Reich
Different Trains: 1) America - before the war
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Different Trains: 1) America - before the war
Steve Reich
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint (Fast)
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Electric Counterpoint (Fast)
Steve Reich
Eight Lines
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Eight Lines

Eight Lines

Composer
Performer
Ivan Šiller
Fero Király
Ján Kruzliak
Daniel Herich
Peter Dvorský
Branislav Beilik
Ensemble
Ricercata Ensemble
Steve Reich
Four Organs
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Four Organs

Four Organs

Composer
Performer
Steve Chambers, Philip Glass, Art Murphy, Steve Reich, Jon Gibson
Steve Reich
Quartet - 1st movement - Fast
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Quartet - 1st movement - Fast

Quartet - 1st movement - Fast

Composer
Ensemble
Colin Currie Group
Steve Reich
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich
Duet for two Solo Violins and String Orchestra (Dedicated to and written for Yeh
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Duet for two Solo Violins and String Orchestra (Dedicated to and written for Yeh
Steve Reich
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians (Pulses)
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Music for 18 Musicians (Pulses)
Steve Reich
Music for 18 musicians (modular version): Section IV
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Music for 18 musicians (modular version): Section IV
Steve Reich
Music for Ensemble and Orchestra
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Music for Ensemble and Orchestra
Steve Reich
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich
Pulse
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Pulse
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint I
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Electric Counterpoint I
Steve Reich
Drumming Pt.2
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Drumming Pt.2
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians (extract)
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Music for 18 Musicians (extract)
Steve Reich
Music for Pieces of Wood
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Music for Pieces of Wood
Steve Reich
Duet
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Duet
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow
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Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow
Steve Reich
Octet - Eight lines; Ziffer 16; Ziffer 31
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Octet - Eight lines; Ziffer 16; Ziffer 31
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow
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Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow
Steve Reich
Tehillim: 1st Movement (Fast)
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Tehillim: 1st Movement (Fast)
Steve Reich
Drumming Part 1
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Drumming Part 1
Steve Reich
My Name Is
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My Name Is
Steve Reich
Come Out
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Come Out
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Past BBC Events

Proms 2011: Prom 36: Steve Reich & Ensemble Modern
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/egh8q9
Royal Albert Hall
2011-08-10T01:56:48
10
Aug
2011

Proms 2011: Prom 36: Steve Reich & Ensemble Modern

Royal Albert Hall

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