KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ Ode To Gravity: Joanna Brouk interviews Steve Reich

Analog Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
Program Series
Ode To Gravity
Program Length
87 min
1973-12-12 | broadcast
| 1973-11-01/1973-11-30 | created
Steve Reich, noted musician and contemporary composer, plays his music and talks about his sounds and their dimensions with Joanna Brouk. The program begins with Reich’s piece “Six Pianos”, and after listening to it he describes how his experience as a percussionist influenced this composition. The next piece played is “Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ” which is also in the minimalist style, and features the delicate vocals of three women blended with an instrumental ensemble. Brouk then suggests that much of Reich’s music resembles the percussion patterns found in Balinese Gamelan music, something that Reich agrees to in general principle, although he makes it clear that these pieces were composed before he had studied the music of Indonesia and were written for Western instruments. Reich is also hesitant to accept Brouk’s suggestion that his music comes from his emotions. While Reich admits that he composes based on his own intuition, he insists that is only part of what he brings to bear in his work. The program ends with a discussion of Reich’s increasing interest in only producing music for acoustic instruments, and the difficulty of touring with delicate electronic organs which often require repair after coming off of the plane. The first two musical selections heard were recorded at the John Weber Gallery, in New York City, in May of 1973. The interview with Reich was recorded during his visit to the San Francisco Bay Area in November 1973 and was broadcast on December 12, 1973.
New music
Musical Selections
Six Pianos (1973) (24:22) / Steve Reich -- Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ (1973) (21:33) / Steve Reich -- Clapping Music (1972) (7:42) / Steve Reich -- Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ [excerpt] (1973) / Steve Reich
Steve Chambers, piano; electric organ; claps (Six ; Mallet ; Clapping)
Bob Becker, piano; marimbas (Six ; Mallet)
Russ Hartenberger, piano; marimbas; claps (Six ; Mallet ; Clapping)
James Price, piano; metalophone (Six ; Mallet)
Glen Velez, piano; glockenspiel (Six ; Mallet)
Steve Reich, piano; marimbas (Six ; Mallet)
Tim Ferchen, marimbas (Mallet)
Joseph Rasmussen, glockenspiel (Mallet)
Jay Clayton, vocals (Mallet)
Janice Jarrett, vocals (Mallet)
Joan La Barbara, vocals (Mallet)
New music
Minimal music
Composition (Music)
Piano ensembles
Vocal trios with instrumental ensemble
Percussion ensembles