Donald Macleod talks to Steve Reich about two of his most original large-scale works of the late 1980s and 90s - the video opera The Cave and Different Trains, for string quartet.
Steve Reich explores two of his most original large-scale works of the late 1980s and 90s with presenter Donald Macleod. "The Cave" is a unique 'video opera', conceived by Reich in partnership with his wife, the artist Beryl Korot, exploring questions of Jewish, Muslim and American identity from ancient times to the present, and inspired by the Cave of Machpilai in Hebron, the burial place of Abraham.
Meanwhile, the Grammy Award-winning work "Different Trains", for string quartet and tape, has its inspiration closer to home, in the long journeys from New York to San Francisco Reich made between his divorced parents as a young child in the late 1930s and early 40s - a time when half a world away, Jewish men and women like himself were being transported by train to the death camps of Eastern Europe.
The episode ends with Reich and Donald Macleod discussing the composer's inspiration to a whole new generation of dance, electronica and rock musicians - with an excerpt from his seminal 1967 work "Piano Phase", remixed by British dance collective, D*Note.