Steve Reich: American Portraits Series

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“Hey, your record is stuck in a groove,” was a common listener comment received by many stations playing music by Steve Reich in the 1980's. One of the seminal “minimalist” composers, Reich once told John Schaefer that the labeling of his music is “not his job” - he’d rather that people think of it just as “music.” Here, in this early edition of New Sounds broadcast in 1988 as part of WNYC’s annual American Music Festival, Reich discusses his work with its repeating patterns and motifs, and slight variations over time. Hear excerpts from Reich’s “Tehillim,” “Desert Music,” Sextet, and a live performance of “Clapping Music” featuring percussionist Glen Velez, and the composer himself.

Steve Reich: American Portraits Series Airdate: 2/12/1988





Steve Reich

Sextet/Six Marimbas

Sextet, excerpt

Nonesuch #79138

Steve Reich & Glen Velez

Live performance, WNYC Studio

Clapping Music [2:30]

This and other works by Reich are on Nonesuch, ECM, and other labels.

Steve Reich and musicians

Music For 18 Musicians

Music for 18 Musicians, excerpts Pulse, and other sections [6:30]

ECM 1129

Steve Reich

Tehillim/3 Movements

Tehillim, excerpts [12:00]

Nonesuch #79295**

Steve Reich

The Desert Music

The Desert Music:Third Movement Part Two [6:00]

Nonesuch #79101

Steve Reich

Sextet/Six Marimbas

Sextet, mvmt. 5

Nonesuch #79138

*, ** Find the recordings you've heard - go to the New Sounds Recordings Information page