The Music Of Steve Reich, On Modular Synths

This pair of videos, via Daniel R Dehaan, capture his modular synthesizer arrangements of some of the early music of minimalist composer Steve Reich.

Both of Reich’s compositions are phase music works, inspired by the idea of two copies of a recording, playing on two different tape recorders. The two copies start in sync, slowly go out of sync, and then cycle back to being in sync again, creating all sorts of rhythmic permutations along the way.

The first video, above, is a modular take on Reich’s piece Clapping Music, originally scored for two people clapping. 

In this version, Dehaan uses a Malekko Varigate 8+ to drive the 1010Music Synthbox (running the Bitbox firmware), trigging audio samples of claps. Reverb was added with Slate Digital’s VerbSuite.

The second video, below, is a modular version of Reich’s Piano Phase:

The patch again uses the Malekko Varigate 8+, along with the Voltage Block, with sound coming from Mannequins’ Mangrove with Make Noise’s Maths modulating several parameters.

The Make Noise/Soundhack Morphagene is used for live looping the output of the Mangrove to create the phase effect. Reverb was added with Slate Digital’s VerbSuite.

One thought on “The Music Of Steve Reich, On Modular Synths

  1. Great demonstrations of the technique. The second piece I find a little grating after about 10 minutes. It might be interesting to slowly morph the timbres as well.

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