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When minimalist composer Steve Reich stumbled upon someone performing his 1987 composition Electric Counterpoint at a festival in Poland in 2011, he was not only flattered, he was impressed. The performer had recorded all of the backing tracks himself, rather than simply renting them from the piece’s original guitarist. That performer was Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, a group that Reich had previously not been exposed to, but that would soon change. After igniting his interest in rock music, Reich decided to pay homage with an 18-minute chamber arrangement called Radio Rewrite. Even at 76, Reich is still opening new doors and he has Greenwood to thank for this endeavor. Via The Globe And Mail:

“It’s not a set of variations,” Reich says on the phone from California. “Radiohead gave me an armature, they got me up and running, but it’s my piece and I’m on my own. They underpin it in a way that is sometimes perceptible, sometimes not. It’s kind of like Radiohead slipping by, and then the clouds come over, you go somewhere else, and then whoop! – they come out the other end.”

... Music by Reich and Greenwood will come together in Winnipeg during Friday’s concert, which includes a suite from Greenwood’s film score for There Will Be Blood, and Reich’s choral piece Tehillim. Reich’s other offerings in Winnipeg include Different Trains, for string quartet and tape (Thursday), and The Desert Music, a setting of poems by William Carlos Williams for chorus and orchestra (Feb. 2). Thursday’s show also features Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet, one day after a different group of performers play it at Mount Allison University’s Acadia New Music Festival in Sackville, N.B.




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