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This is an incredibly beautiful tutorial. Art, deconstruction, minimalism and some of the greatest musical artists of the 20th century! What an amazing way to explore the mechanics and mechanisms behind these artists.

I had heard of other minimalist artists before, but until a couple years ago somehow had missed Reich.

I'm now an addict, especially to his later pieces when he really started growing his work into larger and larger themes. "Music for 18 Musicians" has become one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. I say this as somebody who finds a great deal of modern art fairly deplorable -- the first time I heard some of Reich's pieces I stayed up the entire night finding everything of his I could put into my ears.

Reich has a nack for finding incredibly beautiful and urgent patterns and sounds and exploring them to a kind of amazing fullness. I never had the pleasure to play any of this pieces when I was attempting to become a musician, I understand that the practice for a piece can take months to a year because of the difficulties of maintaining your part of the phase. Listening to his music is, to me, a very intense activity, because I desperately want to notice when the music starts changing and because of the phasing it never does. There's certain parts of the phasing to that I find particularly enjoyable, but I've also found that you can't just jump to them, you have to encounter them in the context of the phases that come before and after. Once you get quite familiar with his music you'll find elements of his influence all over the place (for example, careful listeners will probably recognize this piece as the core of a much later EDM hit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Miu19QHBQiw).

I don't enjoy his earlier, very intense explorations into phase music, but he manages to develop the concepts into a very full and beautiful music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXJWO2FQ16c (music for 18)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLckHHc25ww (another performance of the same)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edKE10Yz_zs (six pianos)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbC5zhFX7Kw (Octet Eight Lines)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5qOtXql-oI (Desert Music)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgX85tZf1ts (sextet)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udn9cZYWmIk (Music for a large ensemble)

And this insanity, a solo performance of one of his early phase pieces https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnQdP03iYIo

If you liked the visualizations in this here a nice one for "Music for Pieces of Wood" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy2kyRrXm2g

and then humans doing the same https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LbmvD7ytDc

and another good visualization of the phase music approach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzkOFJMI5i8




When I first discovered Music for 18 musicians, it's all I'd listen to while working and commuting for weeks and weeks.


I've been listening to Reich on CD and in concert when I can for years. Idly exploring the YouTube links for anything that I have not heard, I came across

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3AMpfdbc7U

(Section 1 of 18 Musicians slowed down by a factor of 8). Surprisingly absorbing.


That's stunningly beautiful.


The most widely recognized piece of music by Steve Reich is probably Electric Counterpoint Part 3 [1] because it was sampled by The Orb for the 1990 ambient dub hit Little Fluffy Clouds.

("Sampled" is maybe a generous expression -- "ripped off" might be more like it, considering that Reich's piece provides the entire structure of the song.)

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TKVpUSWCug


"Different Trains" is haunting on so many levels.




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