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.
Indaba Music has announced a Steve Reich remix contest:
Steve Reich is one of about five people still living who can claim to have altered the landscape of music forever. In the contemporary music world there is no composer more influential or studied.
Moreover, Mr. Reich has already been remixed by the likes of DJ Spooky, Coldcut, and Howie B. Thus, it’s exceedingly exciting to be able to offer you the stems to the third movement of the Grammy Award and Pulitzer Award winning composer’s piece “2×5″, performed by the modern classical outfit Bang on a Can, on the Nonesuch Records album Double Sextet / 2×5.
Take these amazing stems and rework them into music the composer would be proud of.
The Grand Prize winner will receive $500, a signed copy of the album Double Sextet/2×5, a signed manuscript score page of the Pulitzer Prize winning “Double Sextet”, and a 1 year Platinum membership to Indaba Music.
Reichatron is a sample playing instrument that grew out of my desire to experiment with phase-shifted looping (a la Steve Reich’s early works It’s Gonna Rain and Piano Phase) and as an homage to Metaphysical Function which is, I think, one of the most interesting Reaktor ensembles.
Reichatron allows you to mix together the phase-shifted blending of two samples and then modulate that mixture using a block of six effects that can be independently controlled. Reichatron also offers stochastic control of the effects block and sample selection. You can take as much, or as little, control over how the sound evolves over time as you like.
Akihiko Matsumoto‘s Minimalist Style for iPhone RjDj generates minimal music algorithmically:
Minimalist Style algorithmically generates music based on the analysis of composers such as Bach, Stravinsky, Squarepusher, and many more. Choose your favourite composer by touching one of the squares. Shake the device to move forward in the musical progression. Touch the screen and tilt the device to change the timbre of the synth.
This music is generated by a realtime prolongiation algorithm base on Schenkerian analysis
Optigan.com has announced a new Philip Glass-inspired Minimalism Optigan disc, featuring the vocal talents of Tara Busch (Analogsuicide.com):
We’re proud to announce the latest in our series of new Optigan discs: MINIMALISM! This is a special release for us, since it marks our first musical collaboration with the fabulous Tara Busch of AnalogSuicide.com. Tara sang the vocal solfege scale for the keyboard, a haunting sound that you’re sure to find plenty of uses for.
The Optigan is a bizarre 70’s musical instrument/music toy that’s features an electomechanical optical sound generator.