Reich, Steve – Clapping Music 1972
This man seems to be everywhere this week; on the radio, in the news, in conversations and even meeting one of my friends – apparently he is quite entertaining – so it is only right that his music should make an appearance here too. Plus Radio 3′s ‘Baroque Spring’ is driving me crazy (you CAN have too much of a good thing) and so I thought some twentieth century music would provide the perfect antidote….
Music.. is it? Well, I suppose that is the question with this piece. At a time when other composers were still exploring the possibilities of the 12 tone row and experimenting with electronic sounds, Reich called on his experiences in Africa and concentrated on rhythm and repeating patterns. The article below will tell you more…
This piece is for two performers; both start on the same rhythmic pattern before one moves on to the next pattern, in which the original rhythm has been shifted by one beat. This happens 12 times before the performers eventually end up playing the same pattern once more. A simple but effective idea, and one that I love!
Steve Reich performing his Clapping Music:
A very interesting article from the Guardian
Visit the BBC iPlayer website to hear the premiere of Reich’s ‘Radio Rewrite’, a work based on the music of Radiohead