Steve Reich, the minimalist composer, has his own website, at stevereich.com. And since the website’s launch, it has featured, on its multimedia page, a single MP3. It’s no meager offering. It’s a live recording of the world premiere, from April 24, 1976, of his Music for 18 Musicians. Not the entire piece, mind you, but a good stretch, just over 12 minutes in length. The file has been compressed to the lo-fidelity rate of 64kbps (most people rip their MP3s at a minimum of twice that level), so it is less than six megabytes large. This is the sort of sound that makes audiophiles take to the streets wearing nothing but noise-reduction headphones and “The End Is Nigh” sandwich boards. Still, the track is more than clear enough for listeners to appreciate the work’s effervescent grid of beading counterpoint. And it’s in stereo. The file may even have its own unique pleasures; fans of the muted sounds of minimal techno and deep house will probably feel right at home. Here’s to hoping that if more people download the Music for 18 Musicians MP3, the Reich site will post some additional sound clips. Currently featured on the site is extensive information on Reich’s most recent CD/DVD, the technologically themed Three Tales, including an overview of the work, interviews, performance dates and its complete libretto, among whose “characters” are such Internet Age luminaries as Jaron Lanier, who coined the term “virtual reality”; Ray Kurzweil, synthesizer-maker and futurist; and Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
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• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0253 / Doorbell Rehab / Record some welcome music. • 0252 / Sonic Palindrome / Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. • 0251 / Soothing Sounds for Parents / Remix some music for infants with parents in mind. • 0250 / Soothing Sounds for Junto / Make some peaceful music for an infant child. • 0249 / 80 Phases / Wish the minimalist composer Steve Reich a happy birthday.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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