Friday, 3 January 2014

Steve Reich

Still only part way through reading "Writings on Music 1965 - 2000". This is an amazing insight into the thought processes of an exceptional artist.

The book comprises essays, lectures and sleeve-notes (or concert notes) written by Steve Reich throughout the period mentioned.

The fact that they are often repetitive (they often comprise a history of his ideas up until the time of the writing) is more than helpful. You see his thought developing.

His comments on his own compositions, his motives, their structure, his expectations as to their performance, are exceptional. If only more artists were so lucid.

Complementary to the book is the video Phase to Face (2011) in which Reich explains himself to the interviewer and we see him rehearing his ensemble for various concerts around the world.

His comments to his colleagues during rehearsal show clearly how he understands the systematic structure of the works they are asked to perform. A remarkable insight into the mind of a remarkable talent.