Steve Reich (b. 1938)

Various Tracks

  1. Livelihood November, 1964

    A three minute distillation of 10 hours of back-of-the-cab conversations.

    REICH: I got my M.A. in 1963. And instead of applying for jobs teaching harmony and theory, I decided that I really was not cut out for academic life. I opted to take a job driving a cab in San Francisco, which I proceeded to bug with a microphone. I surreptitiously recorded conversations and noises and made them into a tape collage called Livelihood. (I later bulk erased it, which is another story.)

  2. Music For Pieces Of Wood (8:40)

  3. Steve Reich - Piano Phase

    Clarinet - Gellért Tihanyi

  4. Steve Reich Octet (17:34)

    Arranged By - Tibor Szemzo
    Bass - Tamás Tóth
    Composed By, Other [Adviser] - Steve Reich
    Violin - Éva Posvanecz

    Tracks 1-4 performed by Group 180 (1980)

  5. Score for Pendulum Music, 1968
    From Aspen 8

  6. Oh Dem Watermelons (1965)

    Soundtrack by Steve Reich for Robert Nelson's film Oh Dem Watermelons (1965)

  7. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker - Fase (Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich) (1982)

  8. Melodica (1966)

    ""Melodica (5/22/66) is composed of one tape loop gradually going out of phase with itself, first in two voices and then in four. The original loop is of myself playing the four note pattern on the melodica, a toy instrument. I dreamed the melodic pattern, woke up on May 22nd, 1966, and realized the piece with the melodica and tape loops in one day. Melodica was composed of musical pitches, as opposed to the speech fragments used in my two earlier tape pieces, It's Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966). It proved to be both a transition to instrumental music using the gradual phase shifting process, and the last tape piece I ever made" (Steve Reich)

  9. Steve Reich at UC Berkeley University Museum (November 7, 1970)

    A live performance of four early works by Steve Reich: "Four Organs", "My Name Is", "Piano Phase", and "Phase Patterns." This performance marked an important moment in San Francisco Bay Area new music history with the triumphant return to the East Bay by Reich, who studied at Mills College with Luciano Berio, and who performed the 1964 world premiere of Terry Riley's seminal work, “In C", at the San Francisco Tape Music Center. The resonant acoustics of the University of California at Berkeley Museum’s concrete interior were especially appropriate for “Four Organs”, with its long additive sustained chords over a maraca pulse. The capacity crowd occupied every conceivable area of the interior space, including walkway ramps suspended over gallery spaces. It was an electrifying evening!

  10. Steve Reich and John Gibson (November 6, 1970), Part 1
    Steve Reich and John Gibson (November 6, 1970), Part 2

    Steve Reich and Jon Gibson stopped off at the KPFA studio after a rehearsal for a performance scheduled for the next day at the UC Berkeley’s Art Museum. The discussion centers around Reich’s very unusual music and you will hear an East Coast performance of his Four Organs as well as an exciting recording of Ghanian drumming which Reich recorded in Ghana. They also introduce the music of Philip Glass, playing a tape of his Music in Similar Motion. The program ends with a discussion about the influence of world music and environmental soundscapes on contemporary composers.

  11. Joanna Brouk interviews Steve Reich (December 12, 1973)

    Steve Reich, noted musician and contemporary composer, plays his music and talks about his sounds and dimensions with Joanna Brouk. The program begins with Reich’s piece “Six Pianos”, and after listening to it he describes how his experience as a percussionist influenced this composition. The next piece played is “Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ” which is also in the minimalist style, and features the delicate vocals of three women blended with an instrumental ensemble. Brouk then suggests that much of Reich’s music resembles the percussion patterns found in Balinese Gamelan music, something that Reich agrees to in general principle, although he makes it clear that these pieces were composed before he had studied the music of Indonesia and were written for Western instruments. Reich is also hesitant to accept Brouk’s suggestion that his music comes from his emotions. While Reich admits that he composes based on his own intuition, he insists that is only part of what he brings to bear in his compositions. The program ends with a discussion of Reich’s increasing interest in only producing music for acoustic instruments and the difficulty of touring with delicate electronic organs which often require repair after coming off of the plane. The first two musical selections heard were recorded at the John Weber Gallery, in New York City, in May of 1973. The interview with Reich was recorded during his visit to the San Francisco Bay Area in November 1973 and was broadcast on December 12, 1973.

  12. It's Gonna Rain (1965), Part 1
  13. It's Gonna Rain (1965), Part 3

    It's Gonna Rain is a minimalist musical composition for magnetic tape written by Steve Reich in 1965. It lasts approximately 17 minutes and 50 seconds. It was Reich's first major work and a landmark in minimalism and process music.

  14. Come Out (1966)

    Come Out is a 1966 piece by American composer Steve Reich. He was asked to write this piece to be performed at a benefit for the retrial of the Harlem Six, six black youths arrested for committing a murder during the Harlem Riot of 1964 for which only one of the six was responsible. Truman Nelson, a civil rights activist and the person who had asked Reich to compose the piece, gave him a collection of tapes with recorded voices to use as source material. Nelson, who chose Reich on the basis of his earlier work It's Gonna Rain, agreed to give him creative freedom for the project.

    Live at Nantes Cité des Congrès July 26 2012

    1. Clapping Music 2:39
    2. Cello Counterpoint 11:28
    3. Piano Phase / Video Phase 12:05
    4. Nagoya Guitars 7:00
    5. New York Counterpoint 11:21
    6. 2x5 / création française 20:28

    Bang on a Can All-Stars
    Ashley Bathgate violoncelle
    Robert Black basse
    Vicky Chow piano
    David Cossin batterie
    Derek Johnson guitare électrique
    Mark Stewart guitare électrique
    Evan Ziporyn clarinettes, piano

    Note : Audience recording.

    Interview and Music of Steve Reich (May 12, 1980), Part 1
    Interview and Music of Steve Reich (May 12, 1980), Part 2

    Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Steve Reich in May of 1980. The interview begins with Reich giving a brief description of his childhood experiences as a piano student and member of a school band. He then plays two recordings of his “Music for a Large Ensemble”, highlighting the ways in which he revises a piece based on his ability to rehearse it, explaining that he always prefers to work with his own ensemble, perfecting a piece, before allowing it to be played by others. Reich then continues to focus on the ability for each performer to bring their own expression to Reich’s compositions, by playing two versions of his “Violin Phase” played at different tempos. In the second half of the program, Reich touches upon his renewed interest in Orthodox Judaism, including the chanting of Hebrew scripture, and how these studies have influenced his works such as “Octet”. The program ends with Reich’s “Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards” which is slightly scaled down from the full orchestral version that may be better known to most listeners. Al in all this is a fantastic look at what it takes to make a performance of Reich’s consonant minimal music shine.


    Tracks 7 from Music from Mills (1986)

    Steve Reich in UbuWeb Film

    UbuWeb Sound | UbuWeb