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Reich Birthday MP3

Today, October 3, is Steve Reich‘s 70th birthday. This necessitates some sort of celebration, even if the current extravaganzas in Manhattan detailed at more than acknowledge this great American composer’s accomplishments, from the early phasing and tape loop experiments, to his expert delineation of the music inherent in human speech, to his large-scale multi-media performance works.

As a small token of admiration, here’s a link to some fruit of the BBC’s recent remix contest, in which humble laptop-ticians were offered the opportunity to remake Reich’s classic “Music for 18 Musicians.” A remix by Jak, featured at, elegantly decomplexifies the original, its rhythms refined and firmed up, the layers of counterpoint less chaotic, more lush (MP3). Another such remix, by Electrodata, was featured as the August 7 Downstream entry (link).

Some more related links while we’re at it: A recent Downstream entry linking to a discussion featuring Reich’s wife and collaborator, Beryl Korot (link). And a 1999 Disquiet interview with Reich on the occasion of the release of Reich Remixed (link). Plenty more info at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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