Steve Reich : “Music for Pieces of Wood” (1977)
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Steve Reich

“Music for Pieces of Wood” (1977)

Performed as part of “Steve Reich and Musicians”

Steve Reich and Musicians will present their only New York performances this season in a series of four concerts at The Kitchen Center for Video and Music from May 16 to May 19 at 9pm.

Steve Reich and Musicians have toured exclusively in the U.S. and Europe performing works by Mr. Reich. This series of concerts will include music composed over the last ten years exhibiting Reich’s development from his early work with the repetitive phase-shifting pattern construction of Violin Phase to the more polyphonic, tonal orchestration of Music for 18 Musicians, which received its world premier in a sold out concert at Town Hall in Spring 1976.

The music of Steve Reich has been compared to others composing in what has come to be called the “Minimal” style, but, while there are similarities, this series of concerts will enable the listener to follow the very individual development of one of America’s most important Composers.

Monday May 16: Clapping Music; Pendulum Music; Violin Phase; Music for 18 Musicians Tuesday May 17: Music for Pieces of Wood; Four Organs; Phase Patterns; Six Pianos; Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ. Wednesday May 18: Pendulum Music; Violin Phase; Six Pianos Thursday May 19: Four Organs; Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ; Music for 18 Musicians.

Music For Pieces of Wood (1973) grows out of the same roots as Clapping Music (1972); a desire to make music with the simplest possible instruments. The claves, or cylindrical pieces of hard wood used here were selected for their particular pitches (A, B, C#, D# and D# an octave above) and for their resonant timbre. This piece is one of the loudest I have ever composed, but uses no amplification whatsoever.

The rhythmic structure is based entirely on the process of rhythmic “build-ups”, or the substitution of beats for rests and is in three sections of decreasing pattern length: 6/4. 4/4. 3/4.

Bob Becker, Russ Hartenberger, James Preiss, Steve Reich, Glen Velez - tuned claves

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