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Steve Reich Influence On Music

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A pioneer of Minimalism, Steve Reich is known as “the most original musical thinker of our time” according to The New Yorker. His contemporary musical style was contradictory to the serialism and aleatory styles of music of his time. That is the very component that is used as evidence that Reich is indeed “America’s greatest living composer.” Music is in his blood. Reich’s mother, the very June Sillman (later June Carroll), was a famous lyricist, singer, and actress. She is best known for her co-writing of a piece called “Monotonous” alongside Arthur Siegel. Both mother and son, June Carroll and Steve Reich, contain a similar conversational quality in the music they write/wrote. At a young age, Steve Reich took piano lessons and grew up listening…show more content…
If you’re not moved by the music, then everything else falls away. You’re not interested in the text, you’re not interested in how it is done, and you’re not interested in interviewing the composer and the rest of it,” says Steve Reich. In an interview, Reich was asked about the importance of the comprehension versus the emotion he was trying to evoke. I believe this statement clearly states his stance on music and composition. Reich’s philosophy rests on the fact that his purpose for music is to move you; that both the musician and his or her music becomes irrelevant if it isn’t making a statement, if it isn’t causing some kind of mental/auditory stimulation. Steve Reich’s philosophy is also defined by the gradual processes of music. “I want to be able to hear the process happening throughout the sounding music,” Reich further explains. In order to promote intricate listening to compositions, music processes should be gradual. This goes back to Reich’s first thought of meaningful music arises from its ability to move you. The music has to be heard and understood to be felt. A gradual process “sustains one 's attention” as perceived by Reich. “Music should consist of a compositional process and sounding music that are one and the same thing” and “structural devices should be open, rather than be hidden.” I believe these statements that Steve Reich makes about musc reveals that for one’s music to be wholly appreciated and for the musician to be taken seriously and to make contact impersonally, the composer must strive to appeal to the audience on a whole other level. One of which that elicits emotion and interpretation of the
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