Steve Reich - Tokyo Opera City LPAlternative Fox
As noted on Alternative Fox's Berkeley November 7, 1970 (FOX 002LP) and Information, Transmission, Modulation and Noise (FOX 006LP) releases, the New York-born composer and abstract keyboard artist Steve Reich was one of the most important pioneers of minimalist music. After studying with jazz pianist Hall Overton, Reich studied composition at the Julliard School of Music and later at Mills College, a hotbed of experimental music in Oakland, near San Francisco. He subsequently began experimenting with audio tape as a medium for recorded and performed music at the San Francisco Tape Music Center with important figures of early electronic music, including Morton Subotnick, Pauline Oliveros, Ramon Sender, and Phil Lesh (the latter eventually a bassist in the Grateful Dead), and more importantly with Terry Riley, who joined Reich for the staging of In C in 1964, based on constantly shifting, fragmented music patterns. Reich went on to compose a number of noteworthy film soundtracks and in 1967 collaborated with Oliveros and Richard Maxfield for the LP New Sounds In Electronic Music. Phased musical and rhythmic patterns, sonic loops and electronic percussion were focal points from the mid- 1960s. Music For 18 Musicians was first released by jazz label ECM in 1978, based around pulsing patterns of tuned percussion created by several pianists, a vibraphonist and three marimba players, along with a clarinetist, a cellist, and a violinist, as well as three vocalists, with players switching to different instruments and percussion as necessary; the masterful version presented at Tokyo's Opera City on May 21st, 2008 features the choral group Synergy Vocals, close-microphone specialists founded by BBC Singers and London Choir alumnus Micaela Haslam, who first collaborated with Reich on his 2002 Drumming release.