Reich: Music for 18 Musicians

Reich: Music for 18 Musicians

by Steve Reich
     
 

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After Reich's initial experiments with phase music, he moved on to exploring pulse -- music that had no relation to melody, but would repeat phrases of either one or several notes, increasing then decreasing in volume as long as the musician had the stamina. When repeated with several musicians playing around one key and starting them off at different times, the… See more details below

Overview

After Reich's initial experiments with phase music, he moved on to exploring pulse -- music that had no relation to melody, but would repeat phrases of either one or several notes, increasing then decreasing in volume as long as the musician had the stamina. When repeated with several musicians playing around one key and starting them off at different times, the result was a piece that continuously evolved, sounding like a night drive through a neon city with bright sounds appearing on the horizon, coming closer, then disappearing behind. The original recording in 1978 on ECM records was a major step forward for Reich and legitimized his music beyond the experimentation of such works as "Violin Phase." Where the phase work felt insular and looped, Music for 18 Musicians stretches as far as the eye can see. The piece was rerecorded in the late '90s, but this original recording is worth checking out, even more now for the historical value.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
If Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians is simply described in terms of its materials and organization — 11 chords followed by 11 pieces built on those chords — then it might seem utterly dry and monotonous. The actual music, though, is far from lackluster. When this recording was released in 1978, the impact on the new music scene was immediate and overwhelming. Anyone who saw potential in minimalism and had hoped for a major breakthrough piece found it here. The beauty of its pulsing added-note harmonies and the sustained power and precision of the performance were the music's salient features; and instead of the sterile, electronic sound usually associated with minimalism, the music's warm resonance was a welcome change. Yet repeated listening brought out a subtle and important shift in Reich's conception: the patterns were no longer static repetitions moving in and out of phase with each other, but were now flexible units that grew organically and changed incrementally over the course of the work. This discovery indicated a promising new direction for Reich, one that put him ahead of his peers by giving his music greater interest and adaptability and led to the more elaborate works of the next two decades.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/18/2000
Label:
Ecm Records
UPC:
0042282141729
catalogNumber:
821417
Rank:
19594

Tracks

  1. Music for 18 Musicians, for 4 female voices & 16 instruments  - Steve Reich  - Bob Becker  - Bob Becker  - Steve Reich  - Steve Reich  - Rebecca Armstrong  - Elizabeth Arnold  - Paula Bisacca  - Virgil Blackwell  - Virgil Blackwell  -  Steve Chambers  - Jay Clayton  - Jay Clayton  - Richard Cohen  - Richard Cohen  - Pamela Fraley  - Shem Guibbory  - Russ Hartenberger  - Russ Hartenberger  - Ken Ishii  - Larry Karush  - Larry Karush  - James Preiss  - James Preiss  - Gary Schall  - Gary Schall  - David Van Tieghem  - David Van Tieghem  - David Van Tieghem  - Nurit Tilles  - Glen Velez  - Glen Velez

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