Maximum Reich: What Do You Think?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Steve Reich embodies all that is New York. His sound is local, but globally relevant; diverse but stylistically coherent.

His music is avant-garde but within a continuum of trend-setting achievements; downtown and uptown; (in)famous in clubs and concert halls; internationally known but perhaps still pigeonholed by false assumptions and terminology. Tell us your thoughts on his music and legacy.

What do you think? Where are you on Steve Reich? Tell Q2 Music and your fellow listeners.


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Comments [17]

Stephen from Fayetteville, AR

I like new music and listen to Q2 all the time. But I just have register here that I really, really, really (repeat ad nauseam for 25 minutes)... hate Steve Reich! It's more aural assault than music. I will never comprehend how intelligent people can find it of interest. It's literally a turn-off for me.

Oct. 04 2011 07:16 AM
Paul Epstein from Lower Manhattan

I've only had the opportunity to catch the last day of Maximum Reich, but what a cool day it has been! Great to hear not just Steve Reich's varied music, including the new Mallets Quartet, but also so much music by people he has influenced.

Dec. 16 2009 11:40 PM
JPVIDEO from lost in New Jersey

Being a composer myself. The music of Steve Reich has been forged into my soul since I first heard 'Drumming' in the seventies. His organic and viseral pulsations drag my senses into a substraight of the primal organism. Both Steve and Philip Glass' compositional concepts have changed music forever with the drawing either from Africa or Asia into a meditative conceptual self-awareness. If some think it is too repetative then they are simply NOT listening. Shame on them. Viva Steve Reich!

Dec. 16 2009 09:33 AM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park, NJ

With all of this positive response to Maximum Steve, with which I heartily agree, think what could be done in a similar project with the music of Philip Glass.

There is, I believe, much more music and in much greater variety.

Dec. 15 2009 10:13 PM
Marsha Winborn from Santa Fe, NM

I am SO thrilled with this week-long immersion into Steve Reich; his music has sent me into blissful percussive trance since I first heard him in the late 70s. Thank you! I'm hearing pieces I never heard before, and repeatedly, which is just great—can't tire of this ever-changing flow of sound.
Q2 has changed my radio life: haven't listened anywhere else since I discovered it.

Dec. 15 2009 07:04 PM
Paolo tartamella from Manhattan, hopefully Brooklyn ona day...

Reich is a very accessible composer in spite of his style. My children Valentino (6 year old) and Violetta (3) have been listening his "Music for 18 Musicians" and other pieces since they were in the crib. They love it and think Reich's music as music for trains. Every time that a new instrument (or a new tone) steps in, they believe it's a train from a different subway line entering the station.

Dec. 15 2009 05:22 PM
steve k.

Bravo for the Reichathon...What a gift.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no controversay. This is music that makes me's that simple. I still remember the first time I heard 'Music for 18 Instruments' with a friend in a run down house in Virginia on a hot summer night - my reaction was simply wonder.

I was thinking as I was listening tonight, too bad you're not playing any of the remixes - and suddenly came on the "Megamix", a sort of a historical sampling, full of little modular gems dancing around each other. In a way the greatest Reich pieces aren't the ones composed by him, but the loving, respectful resurrections of fragments of his music, picked up as found objects and mounted in little frames by younger musicians. And not just the famous ones - I think the number of people influenced by, taught to listen in a new way by him has been enormous.

Anyone who has had such effect deserves all his props.

Dec. 14 2009 09:57 PM
Felix Cisneros from New York

Maximum Reich! This is exactly why I subscribe, for innovative programming that one cannot find anywhere else. The live performances are especially wonderful to hear. I would encourage this kind of focus on other groundbreaking contemporary composers in the future as well.

Dec. 14 2009 11:35 AM
Andy Voda from Vermont

This is so nice you're doing this. Listening to as much as humanly possible, maybe a little moreso. I feel I cut my eyeteeth on Steve Reich. His was the first new music I had ever heard of, and this was back around 1969, 1970. I'll never forget that one of the football jocks in high school, of all people, handed me his first album with "It's Gonna Rain" and "Come Out". I was completely flabbergasted. I bought my own copy and must have played it as many times as each of those pieces has repetitions. In my feelings of being too "out there" from my surroundings and most people, it felt like manna from heaven, knowing such extraordinary things were possible to create. While I haven't followed everything he's composed this program is a wonderful way to reconnect to someone I feel is a distant and unmet but wonderful friend.

Dec. 13 2009 06:11 PM
Mark Muse from Shepherdstown, WV

Stunning, emotionally rich, revolutionary. Music for 18 (playing now) confirmed some of my musical inclinations when it was first recorded—yet still, some 25 years later, puts me in a very special place when I listen to it. It is probably the most gentle and moving music I have ever heard.

Dec. 12 2009 10:27 PM
Mark from NJ

I'm really enjoying the Reich-influenced music as well.

Dec. 12 2009 12:08 PM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park, NJ

Re: the Steve Reich Interview page

Yes, yes, yes, and thanks so much.

This is a really great project.

It looks like a lot of the production values and ideas from the John Cage Project have been nicely included. Especially remarks by Nadia Sirota, who is really a wonder.

Dec. 10 2009 02:02 PM
Lazlo Fade from BC, Canada

Great idea programming one composer's output. It certainly shows, in Steve's case, how some pieces are extremely creative, like Different Trains, and some, like the work playing now, Violin Phase, not so. Definitely a hit or miss composer, but when he hits, he's terrific.

Dec. 10 2009 01:44 PM


We've remedied the troubles with the Interviews page. Let us know if it happens again.

Unfortunately, we don't have the rights to allow the interviews to be downloaded.

We're currently working to further develop the player and we'll take your suggestion into consideration. Thanks!

Dec. 10 2009 10:46 AM
Cynthia Chaldekas

I love his work, discovered him by way of Laura Dean Dancers, in the early 80's. For me his compositions are thought provoking and satisfying. The sound of his music is sometimes so expansive and full of joy that when I am listening I feel like I succumb to or fall into the piece of music. Such a pleasure to experience, especially live.

Dec. 10 2009 12:09 AM
Tobyn De Marco from New Jersey

Steve Reich is one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century; and I believe he will remembered as such. His compositions, recordings, and writings will stand the test of time. It is fitting that Q2 has this Reich Fest! Thank you!

Dec. 09 2009 08:44 PM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park, NJ

I have been a fan and a financial support of Steve Reich ever since John Schaefer premiered "The Desert Music" in a week-end two hour program in what? 1985.

Last night, I was listening to the interview archives with Tim Page, John S., Leonard Lopate, etc., and, now they have disappeared. What's up with that?

It would be great if they were downloadable.

BTW, folks, the player being used for these archives, and also for the Jazz Loft Radio Project does not ell us how long a piece will be. It would be nice if that could be fixed.

Dec. 09 2009 05:50 PM

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