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Steve Reich the excellent
sat night oct 17, BAM - brooklyn ny
Steve Reich and Musicians
Music for 18 Musicians
excellent show!!! but then i'm a diehard, old SR fan... first was the
masterful MF18M - a hypnotic, slowly chnging wash of vocals, pianos, tuned
percussion, violin, cello.. just hear it!!!
and the piece de resistance was the nyc premiere of Hindenburg - another
video piece SR has done with his wife and partner Beryl Korot... she of the
cutting edge computer video techniques.. previously they have done the
CAVE..whic i highly recoomend - it's a piece tracing the common hiostory of
jews and arabs, through samples of interviews and sung liturgical texts...
anyway - the new piece last night featured footage of the infamous zeppelin
as it crashed and burned here in nj - (no, not the band!! the airship!!) -
as well as 1930s footage of the general hindenburg and german troops....
tragically, this was the guy that appointed hitler chancellor.. if only he
so - music was juxtaposed with these cut -up - computer edited vid-images,
instrumentation was two longtime Reich percussionists, one snare
drum...beating out a military-style ostinato - they also had octapads,
triggering, i guess some of the numerous news soundbites and spoken
parts.... also a conductor, four vocalists, and (i believe) four violinists
- including our fellow looper Todd Reynolds.. who i was happy to have been
able to say a quick hello to... as he said in recent post - they will be
recording this mon and tues - so wish 'em well and look for it.
Reich is certainly of interest to loopers, he does something very similar,
building layers and patterns with repetition, with slight, slowly
introduced variations..his work is also about the most polyrhymic you'll
hear in this area.. he studied african drumming and music for many years
(still does, i guess), and in recent years has added in samplers to his
arsenal, exploring sounds of the NYC street, or snippets of interviews from
people who were involved in whatever topic he is highlighting.
the Hindenburg piece is part of a 3 part series - i think it's to to be
performed in it's entirety in 2001... also coming up next year or so is
"Bikini" which looks at the bikini atoll nuke tests (when will we learn..)
and "Dolly" re: the cloned lamb of the same name.... the basic overall is a
look at technology/progress in this century... esp. after 1940 or so, and
it's place in our world, pro/con.
But perhaps the HIGHLIGHT of my evening was to accidentally meet a hero of
mine - the fantastic radio host John Schaeffer (sp)!!!!! As i sat during
the intermission - i couldn't help but over hear a couple having a convers.
with him... i kept thinking..."that voice..it can't be.." so i went over
and asked - and sure enuf!!!
for those of you not in the NYC area... John has hosted a show called "NEW
SOUNDS" on Wnyc for many years.. i shocked him when i told him i'd been
listening since 1983 - this guy is SO pivotal in my life - he basically
intro'd me to the music of Laurie A. , Reich, Glass, Alvin Lucier, Terry
Riley, Hedges, Gamelan, tons of African, Indian, Tibetan music, etc....
incredible. I probably first heard LOOPING on this show!!! So - a great
moment for me - meeting the guy who blasted the door open wide for me -
into the universe i now live in...