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Minimalism Nonstop

Last week the BBC reported that the seminal electronic act Kraftwerk wowed the crowd at the Manchester Velodrome, not just with their music but a live riding appearance by the British Olympic cycling team during their classic song “Tour de France”!  But also interesting was the opening act: Bang on a Can premiering Steve Reich‘s newest composition “2×5“.  Scored for two sets of five instruments (hence “2×5”), the 21-minute piece calls for a total of ten musicians: four electric guitars, two pianos, two bass guitars, and two drum sets.  And this from Reich:

“It took me until 2009 to finally hear their [Kraftwerk’s] music, although I knew of their existence and their name and that they looked like robots and were interested in electronics,” he explained. “When I heard Autobahn, it reminded me of the world I was living in, in the 1970’s. It was the beginning of people doing repetitive music and I guess in rock ‘n’ roll, Kraftwerk were an extreme example of that, very deadpan.”

As someone who spent the ’70s listening to both Kraftwerk and Reich in almost equal measure, I’ll offer from one Steve to another both a bravo and a “what took you so long?!?”

Comments

Comment from Christian
Time: July 6, 2009, 12:04 pm

Great article. Had no idea Reich came so late to the dance with Kraftwerk.

Love the pic!

Comment from Anon
Time: July 10, 2009, 2:09 pm

Sad to learn that Steve Reich had / has his head up his ass and that Kraftwerk has just discovered Blue Man Group