Steve Reich has brought forth a new conception of music based on the use of realist elements from the realm of daily life and others drawn from the traditional music of Africa and Asia. The result is a fascinating synthesis in consonance with our contemporary world.
Reich has carved out new paths, establishing a dialogue between popular and high culture, western modernity and non-European traditions, and achieving a rich combination of complexity and transparency.
Creator of a new modality, he accords rhythm a predominant role based on pulsation and the ambiguities of perception. His music poses a different kind of musical practice and a different sense of time, giving rise to what has become known as the “minimalist” or “repetitive” movement.
Steve Reich has brought electro-acoustic media into play with other instruments, many of them inspired by non-European musics, where percussion and keyboards play a central role. He has also forged new relations between text and music, in which speech generates melodic and rhythmic structures.
He has reinvented the form of the concert and musical theater and blurred the divide between musical genres: his operas use visual media in the role of actors, while his music has inspired the work of numerous choreographers.
By engaging with current issues, from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the 9/11 attacks, as well as contemporary problems ranging from questions of faith to relations with science and technology, Steve Reich has successfully reached out to multiple and varied publics
Firmly of the moment as well as vastly influential, his work has opened new perspectives and ranks among the most significant musical experiences of our time.