6 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Steve Reich’s Minimalist patterns hold great appeal for a lot of rock fans, and his oeuvre has influenced a slew of rock musicians. The venerable composer might be returning the favor with “2x5,” a composition that sounds like Reich filtered through rock bands influenced by Reich. The piece is written for a classic-rock lineup: two electric guitars, piano, electric bass, and drums, but that grouping is doubled. (Here, five members of New York’s Bang On a Can play live against a recording of themselves.) Reich frequently writes for percussion but his use of trap kit is rare, and the backbeat lends an exciting element to the music. The Chicago-based chamber group Eighth Blackbird impress with their performance of the album’s other composition, “Double Sextet.” Eighth Blackbird’s lineup includes flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone, and piano, which, as with “2x5,” is doubled since the ensemble plays against a track that they previously recorded. At times, the piece has a light quality that subtly distinguishes it from the composer’s other work, but it’s still pure Reich.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Steve Reich’s Minimalist patterns hold great appeal for a lot of rock fans, and his oeuvre has influenced a slew of rock musicians. The venerable composer might be returning the favor with “2x5,” a composition that sounds like Reich filtered through rock bands influenced by Reich. The piece is written for a classic-rock lineup: two electric guitars, piano, electric bass, and drums, but that grouping is doubled. (Here, five members of New York’s Bang On a Can play live against a recording of themselves.) Reich frequently writes for percussion but his use of trap kit is rare, and the backbeat lends an exciting element to the music. The Chicago-based chamber group Eighth Blackbird impress with their performance of the album’s other composition, “Double Sextet.” Eighth Blackbird’s lineup includes flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone, and piano, which, as with “2x5,” is doubled since the ensemble plays against a track that they previously recorded. At times, the piece has a light quality that subtly distinguishes it from the composer’s other work, but it’s still pure Reich.

TITLE TIME

More By Eighth Blackbird

You May Also Like