Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Woo Steve Reich.

I really enjoying sharing music. It makes me really happy and excited to think that other people may enjoy, appreciate and be inspired by the same stuff that I've been listening to and that's sort of what I try to accomplish with the monthly mp3 mixes that I post here. Most of the music in those mixes come from stuff that other people have been kind enough to share with me...
With some albums, I feel like sharing a single track doesn't really do the full album justice. It's like when all those file sharing programs like Napster and Kazaa that came out and everyone just download whatever mp3s came up in the searches, and you never knew if you were getting old or new stuff from those bands, or what album is was from. I feel like if I had an album out, I'd want it to be heard in its entirety. I don't know. With that, I give you Steve Reich's 'Different Trains'.

DOWNLOAD: Steve Reich - 'Different Trains'

From Wikipedia: Different Trains is a three-movement piece for string quartet and tape written by Steve Reich in 1988. It won a Grammy Award in 1989 for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

The work's three movements have the following titles:

* America-Before the War (movement 1)
* Europe-During the War (movement 2)
* After the War (movement 3)

During the war years, Reich made train journeys between New York and Los Angeles to visit his parents, who had separated. Years later, he pondered the fact that, as a Jew, had he been in Europe instead of the United States at that time, he might have been travelling in Holocaust trains.

Steve Reich's earlier work had frequently used tape, looped and played back at different speeds. However, Different Trains was a novel experiment, using recorded speech as a source for melodies. This followed Scott Johnson's John Somebody of 1978, an early attempt to construct directed melodic motion by harmonising recorded speech.

In Different Trains, after each melody in the piece is introduced, usually by a single instrument (viola for women and cello for men[1]), a recording of the spoken phrase from which the melody derives is played. The melody is then developed for a while, with the instruments playing along with the recording of the phrase or part of the phrase. The music for the strings makes extensive use of paradiddles rhythms, with alternating pitches instead of alternating drum sticking. In addition to speech, the piece includes recordings of train sounds, as well as of sirens and warning bells.


Dylan said...

I also feel the need to share music I like with others, I constantly find myself making people mix CDs, etc. I think anyone who is truly in the love with music enjoys sharing it.
Anyway with Steve Reich... It's very interesting. I didn't like the vocal samples at first, but they start to blend with the constantly spontaneously oozing rhythms well. I'm enjoying this album.

Warren said...

Yeahh, it's definitely interesting. It took me a few listens to get into it. I find it's the albums that take a while to get into that I really end up loving.