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

Steve Reich Swag Giveaway

Classical music publishing company Boosey and Hawkes is holding a contest to “ring in” the November 16 all-Steve Reich concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC).

Steve Reich is a composer in the classical tradition that helped pioneer electroacoustic music, music as a gradual process and musical minimalism.

The first prize winner will receive the Alarm Will Sound (performing in the video, above) recording of Tehillim / The Desert Music, plus a Drumming mug and Music for 18 Musicians t-shirt. The second prize winner will receive a Drumming mug and Music for 18 Musicians t-shirt. Continue reading

Steve Reich – Piano Phase On Groovesizer

Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures a Groovesizer performance by MoShang of Steve Reich’s Piano Phase.

Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategy, “Repetition is a form of change”, seems apt to describe the more minimal work of Steve Reich, like Piano Phase. The piece explores the sonic possibilities of playing a short sequence against itself in two voices.  Continue reading

Steve Reich – Pendulum Music

Sunday Synth Jam: Here’s a performance of Steve Reich‘s 1968 process music piece, Pendulum Music, by Simon Acevedo, Mathieu Cart, Simon Paccaud & Olivier Schuppisser.

In Pendulum Music, three or more microphones are suspended by their cables over the speakers that they are connected to. The microphones are set in motion, creating overlapping patterns of feedback.  Continue reading

uPhase+ Lets You Improvise With Phased Sequences

Developer Gregorio Zanon has announced uPhase+ – a new app for iOS that’s designed to let you improvise with phased sequences.

As shown in the above demo, uPhase lets you play sequences of different lengths against each other, creating complex patterns. This type of canonical phasing is a key element in Steve Reich’s early electronic and acoustic work.

To make things even more interesting, uPhase+ lets you distribute your sequences over a collection of networked iOS devices.

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‘Vertical Music’ Explores Slow Motion Sound

Back in 1967, composer Steve Reich scored a conceptual music piece, Slow Motion Sound. The score reads:

Very gradually slow down a recorded piece to many times its
original length without changing its pitch or timbre at all.

Reich explained Slow Motion Sound like this:

Slow Motion Sound (1967) has remained a concept on paper because it was technologically impossible to realize.

The basic idea was to take a tape loop, probably of speech, and ever so gradually slow it down to enormous length without lowering its pitch. In effect it would have been like the true synchronous sound track to a film loop gradually presented in slower and slower motion.

The roots of this idea date from 1963 when I first became interested in experimental films, and began looking at film as an analog to tape. Extreme slow motion seemed particularly interesting since it allowed one to see minute details that were normally impossible to observe. The real moving image was left intact with only its tempo slowed down.

45 years later, computer technology has made Reich’s concept possible, and R. Luke DuBois the possibilities with Vertical Music, embedded above.

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