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Writings on Music, 1965-2000


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About the Author

Steve Reich was recently called "America's greatest living composer by The Village Voice. His most recent work is the digital video/music theater Three Tales (2002) done in collaboration with Beryl Korot. Paul Hiller is a singer, conductor, and writer on music. He performs ith his own early music Theatre of Voices, and with many other ensembles. He recently won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music, for his composition Double Sextet.


Like many acclaimed artists, composer Reich is a virtual unknown outside of devotees of avant-garde or experimental music ( la John Cage minimalism). This book is a collection of his writings about this specialized area of music, made by and for music academics and "serious" artists. Reading about sounds is always a dry experience, but these 64 short pieces (some only a paragraph) may be essentially indecipherable for those without an academic musical background, owing to the heavy use of music terminology despite Reich's generally conversational tone. The pieces, including Reich's best-known "Music as a Gradual Process," are primarily concerned with Reich's own compositions and reflect his changing preoccupations through time: tape loops and phasing in the Sixties, African drumming in the early Seventies, and so on. In fact, this book might have been better titled Thoughts on Music, as most of the writing comes across as extemporaneous rather than studied and includes a number of interviews, which one is hardpressed to describe as "writings." Recommended for academic libraries or specialized collections only. David Valencia, King Cty. Lib. Syst., Seattle Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Writings on Music 1965-2000, a new collection of Reich's writings...substantially enlarges upon, and in most senses supersedes, its slim predecessor. ... These works are, at one and the same time, radical and sensible, revolutionary and respectful of tradition, and offer extensions of techniques found in diverse forms of music-making around the world...This book seems to me not an ending but a beginning: it marks a point where new work, both creative and scholarly, can start...Steve Reich has consolidated his reputation as an internationally renowned artist of enormous distinction: this new book is a testament to his integrity and staying power, charting as it does a musical evolution, still in progress, that has permanently altered the course of new music in the West in the last third of the twentieth century."-Music and Letters

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