“Reich’s legacy is unique. Few artists can claim to have re-calibrated how we listen.”
Today, October 3rd, is Steve Reich’s 80th birthday.
Some of you may ask “Who?”
“Reich literally created a new language and modern music extends that pattern.”
None of us stands alone: we emerge into a world with an element of predestination and happenstance, framed by our DNA and environment.
In a fascinating article entitled Balinese Music and Steve Reich, he is quoted as saying that his time in Ghana was one of the seminal formative experiences of his career, and he acknowledges learning the basics of interlocking parts from Africa and Bali.
His interest in Ghana was partly sparked with the release of John Coltranes’ Africa/Brass in 1961, “a legendary classic, as innovative and as challenging as it was when it was released so many years ago…”. The drummer was Elvin Jones who was influenced by African drummers ….
Having absorbed these influences, Reich realised that composers are better off creating “a music with one’s own sounds that is constructed in the light of one’s knowledge of non-Western structures.”
Yet his own music has been an influence on disco, ambient musicians such as Brian Eno, who produced David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy of albums, guitarists as diverse as Pat Metheny (video) and Steve Hillage, who influenced the Orb, friends of Radiohead who number Reich among their fans.
The man (on the right) deserves our applause, as well as his own …
01. Omusus Da Fe Mmusu (fr. Ghana)
02. Ugandans – Acholi Bwala Dance
03. Ugandans – Acholi Enanga
04. John Coltrane – Africa (Part1)
05. Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon – Disco
06. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Disco
07. Brian Eno – In Dark Trees
08. David Bowie – Weeping Wall
09. System 7 (Steve Hillage) – I Seem To Be a Verb
10. The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds (Radiohead mix)
11. Ugandans – Dingy Dingy Dance
And gamelan from whence some of his music came….
Jakartans can see/hear Iwan Gunawan’s ‘Ensemble Kyai Fatahillah’ playing Six Marimbas next Tuesday (11th) at Komunitas Salihara at 8pm.