Am currently rehearsing Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians for a performance in November, which the man himself (and Brian Eno) will be attending. The piece blows my mind. Here’s what Reich has to say about it. Great video:
When dog-gesturesbecame my 400th follower, he had a very specific song for me to write about. It was ‘Minority’, from the 1958 album ‘Everybody Digs Bill Evans’.
It had been over two years since Evans’ release of ’New Jazz Conceptions‘ and his recent departure from the Miles’ septet, which immensely boosted Evans’ confidence, provided the right opportunity for Orrin Keepnews to persuade him to make that long-overdue second record.
‘Minority’, the Gigi Gryce hard bop original which opens this album, demonstrates that he was ready to release this album, and then some. Anyone who thinks of Evans as a ‘neo-impressionist’ will be surprised by the pianist’s hard driving swing here, backed up by the top rhythm section consisting of bassist Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones. Even as Evans was a ‘pretty’ player who avoided rushing or stuffing his notes, he could swing and swing hard as he did on this song.
Bill Evans - Piano Sam Jones - Bass Philly Joe Jones - Drums
“What I want is a studio set up rather like an airplane cockpit, with at least four, if not six, keyboards: two or three at the right and the same number at the left, with longer joysticks to control the moment of the sounds, and potentiometers 30-40 centimetres long, to give much finer control of the voltages driving the sequences. I want a machine that will simulate whatever generators, filters or transformers I may need, and I want it to respond instantly to the physical activity of my body, to the movements of my two hands on joysticks and keyboards and buttons and, if possible, to my two feet on foot controls. I am not concerned with what kind of electronic brain drives it, as long as there is no perceivable time delay between what I am influencing and what I hear.”—Fun Times With Karlheinz, Part VI. Not content with a cracked version of Fruity Loops, then…
“I tell my own students, if you really want to become famous, take a magnifying glass, put it to one of my scores, and what you see there, just multiply that for five years. For example, if you see snare drums, then you start composing around twenty pieces only for snare drum. Snare drums of all different sizes: for fifty snare drums, for twenty, for thirty - snare drums on the roof, snare drums in the basement, big snare drums and very tiny snare drums, snare drums amplified and intermodulated. Then he will be the snare drum specialist, he will be known in Japan, he will be famous everywhere.”—Fun Times With Karlheinz, Part V. Stockhausen on snare drums…
“The second movement of [Goeyvaerts’] Sonata was indeed ‘point music’…Adorno couldn’t understand it at all. He said there is no motivic work. So I stood there in short pants, looking like a schoolboy, and defended this piece…I said, but Professor, you are looking for a chicken in an abstract painting.”—Fun Times With Karlheinz, Part IV. Bitchslapping Theodor Adorno at Darmstadt, 1951.
“People usually think the arts should only entertain, but that is not the role of the arts at all. The role of the arts is to explore the inner space of man; to find out how much and how intensely he can vibrate, through sound, through what he hears, whichever it is. They are a means by which to expand his inner universe.”—Fun times with Karlheinz, Part III.