It’s Steve Reich‘s 75th birthday – and we couldn’t let the day go by without recognizing him.
Reich is one of the great living American classical composers, as influential in the world of popular music as he has been in the world of classical.
His influence on electronic musicians has been indelible. You can’t listen to 80’s Tangerine Dream, for example, without hearing echoes of Reich. And electronic musicians like The Orb have been sampling Reich for decades.
Some of Reich’s earliest works were electroacoustic pieces that explored the shifting phase relationships between multiple copies of the same tape loop. His early tape experiments, along with his studies of African and Balinese music, have been some of the biggest influences on his work, throughout his career.
Embedded above is Section VI from Music For 18 Musicians, which is a modern classic and offers a great introduction to Steve Reich’s work.