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Hypnotic repetition

Enjoy a spectacular range of music for percussion over the past 100 years with your guide, Colin Currie.

Close your eyes, and enjoy an hour of percussive meditation.

If there is one area of music that percussion was absolutely made for, its minimalism. In this episode Colin Currie strips percussion right back to the bare essentials as he chooses music that revels in its own sounds, patterns, loops and melodies.

The powerful ability of percussion instruments to weave together multiple layers of sound leads to a playlist with works by John Adams, Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt, Lou Harrison and the ‘godfather’ of minimalist music for percussion, Steve Reich, who has described Colin as “one of the greatest musicians in the world today”.

Steve Reich’s style was partly shaped by music he heard on trips around the world, and time studying with a Ghanaian drumming master, and Colin also includes some mesmerising traditional sounds with roots in Ghana and Zimbabwe.

Colin himself is one of the world’s leading interpreters of the music of Steve Reich so he starts and ends with two of Reich’s most brilliant and celebrated pieces: Music for 18 Musicians and Drumming.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 28 Jul 2019 23:00

Music Played

  • Steve Reich

    Music for 18 Musicians - movement III

    Ensemble: Steve Reich and Musicians.
  • Lou Harrison

    Varied Trio - Bowl Bells

    Performer: Donna Fairbanks. Performer: Hilary Demske. Performer: Doug Smith.
  • John Adams

    Harmonielehre - 1st movement (excerpt)

    Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Conductor: Peter Oundjian.
  • Trad.


    Ensemble: Third Coast Percussion.
  • Philip Glass

    Aguas da Amazonia - Madeira River

    Ensemble: Third Coast Percussion.
  • Trad.

    Siwe Bell Music and Nyive Iwa

    Ensemble: Ensemble Bash.
  • Arvo Pärt

    Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten

    Performer: Kuniko Kato.
  • Steve Reich

    Drumming - Part IV

    Ensemble: Colin Currie Group.


  • Sun 27 Jan 2019 23:00
  • Sun 28 Jul 2019 23:00

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