In lieu of a memoir and on the occasion of his 85th birthday, "[the country's] greatest living composer" Steve Reich crafted a collection of conversations inspired by Stravinsky's books of conversations with his amanuensis Robert Craft. During the pandemic Reich spoke with musicians from his ensemble, conductors like Michael Tilson Thomas and Brad Lubman, old friends like Stephen Sondheim and Richard Serra, younger composers (like the Bang on a Can collective--David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Gordon-- Brian Eno, and younger like Nico Muhly), and later generations of performers (like Radiohead's guitarist Jonny Greenwood, David Harrington the first violin in the Kronos Quartet, and others) about his career, each conversation loosely centering on a particular work. There is a charming back and forth that always gives a sense of both conversationalists, and it still hits the major beats expected in a memoir of his 50 year career. Recommended for readers who already have an interest in contemporary classical music. — Dafydd Wood
A surprising, enlightening series of conversations that shed new light on the music and career of "our greatest living composer" (New York Times)
Steve Reich is a living legend in the world of contemporary classical music. As a leader of the minimalist movement in the 1960s, his works have become central to the musical landscape worldwide, influencing generations of younger musicians, choreographers and visual artists. He has explored non-Western music and American vernacular music from jazz to rock, as well as groundbreaking music and video pieces. He toured the world with his own ensemble and his compositions are performed internationally by major orchestras and ensembles.
Now Reich sits down with past collaborators, fellow composers, and musicians influenced by his work to reflect on his prolific career as a composer as well as the music that inspired him and that has been inspired by him. Through this series of insightful, wide-ranging conversations about the highlights, successes, and creative influences of Reich's work, we gain a compelling glimpse into the career of "the most original musical thinker of our time" (New Yorker).