New York

Steve Reich

Loeb Student Center

The musical compositions of Steve Reich serve as an excellent example of an ordered system that undergoes almost no alteration in the actual execution of the work. In other words, once Reich decides on the so-called mathematics employed in each composition, the performers mechanically carry out the orchestration according to this predetermined structure—that is, a straightforward, nonimprovised reading of the sheet music. This is a traditional aspect of his work, but what I’m getting at is that Reich makes no attempt to remove his personal control and self-expression from his music, and disclaims connection with the indeterminate and chance music of John Cage. Reich feels that Cage’s compositional process (although in theory he may admire it) bears little resemblance to the actual sounding music. Reich concentrates on synthesizing these two elements in his music and conveying them to the

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