Steve Reich’s ‘Radio Rewrite’ Inspired By Radiohead

steve-reich-radio-rewriteNonesuch Records has released a new album by electroacoustic pioneer Steve Reich, Radio Rewrite.

The title piece references two songs by the English band Radiohead. Alan Pierson conducts this premiere recording of Radio Rewrite, which was composed in 2012.

The album also includes recordings of Electric Counterpoint (1987) and Piano Counterpoint, which is a 2011 transcription by Vincent Corver of Reich’s 1973 Six Pianos. The works are performed, respectively, by Radiohead’s guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, and pianist Vicky Chow, who is a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Continue reading

Steve Reich: ‘Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Have The Right Equipment – What Matters Is Your Musical Imagination!’

This video is a profile of minimalist composer Steve Reich, in which he talks about his music, his influences, his very lo-fi ‘funky home tape recorders’ and other early gear, and his inspiration for his classic Music for 18 Musicians. Continue reading

Robert Ashley, “The Greatest Genius Of 20th Century Opera”, Dead At 83

robert-ashleyAmerican composer Robert Ashley – who reinvented opera with electronics and avant garde techniques – died yesterday at the age of 83.

Ashley (March 28, 1930 – March 3, 2014) was known for radically rethinking the concept of opera – reimagining it for TV and for recordings. and incorporating electronic instruments and electronic manipulation of speech.

In one work, Automatic Writing, Ashley recorded his involuntary speech (from Tourette’s Syndrome) and used it as one of the characters in his opera. The other three ‘characters’ were:

  • a French voice translation of the speech:
  • a synthesized version of the speech; and
  • Polymoog harmonies.

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