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E semble Modern Steve Reich ’5 expressive percussives fill the Playhouse

The Ensemble Modern return to the Festival in the wake of last year's triumphant concert with John Adams, to tackle the music of another composer who made his reputation in minimalism before branching out into larger projects. Steve Reich is one of the genre's founding fathers, and the Ensemble will play two of his classic works, Drumming (Part 1) and Music for 18 Musicians.

Both pieces evolved from Reich’s early experiments with the static harmonies and rhythmic cycles found in process works like It’s Gonna Rain (1965), for voice and tape, or Piano Phase (1967), for two pianos or marimbas. At the time, minimalism was a concept in the process of formulation, and Reich remembers working in something of a vacuum in late-605 New York. ’Composers at that time were under the influence of music that ignored either a regular pulse or a sense of a tonal centre, of melody in any sense of the word,’ says Reich. ’l was really just getting my own music together for the first time, and felt sort of out of it, and very much alone. I had contact with Terry Riley, and LaMonte Young was active, but we weren't very close at that time. So, there was precious little outside of the individual musicians that I worked with, but it was also

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Ensemble Modern express the vital energy of Steve Reich

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As minimalism began to assert a wider appeal, Reich and Philip Glass emerged as the figureheads of the movement, even if they disliked the term (Reich had written an essay in 1968 in which he described his music in terms of 'gradual process'). Drumming, written in the wake of a visit to Ghana, was his first composition for a larger ensemble incorporating percussion instruments, voices, and a wind instrument. It was completed in 1971 in four parts, each of which can be played separately. Music for 18 Musicians followed in 1976, and remains one of the great icons of the style, alongside the wonderful Different Trains from a decade later. Reich told Michael Nyman in 1977 that his concern in this composition had been ’making beautiful music above everything else', and it is one of his most popular works as well as impressive achievements, although whether it can fill the Playhouse twice is another matter.

Now in his early sixties, Reich is something of a senior statesman, but both these works personify the creative vitality and restless energy which animated his most exciting music and revealed his most personal voice as a composer. ‘I think everyone has to write music that, in a sense, is who they are,‘ he says. ‘If they try to do it otherwise, then in the long or the short run they will fail. People want the real you, and they know when you’re not giving it.’ (Kenny Mathieson)

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Ensemble Modem See prevrew left Ensemble Modern r/ntcvnat/ona/l Playhouse, 473 2000, 1 Sep, 70pm, 2 Sep, 8pm, [5 [ 75.

Extra Dry

See prevrew left Extra Dry (International) Fest/val Theatre, 25 Aug, 70.30pm, [72


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Bertrand’s Toys

Dark and intense dance from underground Russian theatre group l)la(kSKY\.--.rhrte See rewew Bertrand’s Toys (Ff/[796?! b/ackSKVw/rrte, Rocket @ SOL/(h Bridge ResOurc e Centre ( Venue 723/ 558 9997, until 26 Aug,

8 30pm, [7 /[5 50/

The Boothby Graffoe Show

Stand-up, music and sketches from Caraffoe, With help from Fringe veteran Steve Frost and VITIUOSO gurtarrst Antonio

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The Bongo Club Cabaret

Up to a dozen acts rn one night, dancing, booze and even bingo, a true value-for—rnoney variety show See revrew The Bongo Club Cabaret (Fringer The Bongo Club Out Of The Blue (Venue 743! 556 5204, until 28 Aug Inot 25 ~27) 70 30pm, [5/{7 If)“ before l mini

Garth lvlarenghi’s Fright Knrght

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