Thursday, December 02, 2004


A second helping of R in this wee musical alphabet journey:

"This post-rock stuff's all very well" I hear you cry. "What about some classical?" you ask.

Okay, classical is, as we know, a misnomer. Strictly speaking the "classical" period was around the time of Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart. You've then got "romantic" - Beethoven et al. Oh, and baroque. That was Bach wasn't it? The Twentieth Century saw a number of different periods/styles. The Wire categorizes contemporary serious/classical as "modern composition". Whatever.

Steve Reich is hardly baroque. I think the word minimalist springs to mind. "Six Marimbas" is one of my favourite pieces of music. As it says on the tin, it's a piece played on six marimbas. Interlocking, shifting rhythms, polyrhythms, riff driven, drone like. Reich owes a great debt as much to rock music than to the great classical/serious music tradition. Then again, listening to the rhythmic passages being turned upside down is all at baroque. Minimalist: not accurate.

Also on the disc, "Electric Counterpoint", a three movement piece written especially for poodle permed, flashy Midwestern jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny. Finally, Reich's haunting vocal piece "Proverb" based on a passage by Wittgenstein.

"How Small a thought it takes to fill a whole life"

:: Posted by pete @ 21:13