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All-Reich Event Includes New York Premiere of Radio Rewrite

(November 2013)

A full program of works by Steve Reich will be presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

On November 16, New York City will be alive with the music of Steve Reich. Metropolitan Museum of Art Artist-in-Residence Alarm Will Sound presents an all-Reich event that includes the highly anticipated New York premiere of Radio Rewrite.

Radio Rewrite was inspired by Radiohead’s Everything in its Right Place and Jigsaw Falling into Place. Reich explains: "In September 2010 I was in Krakow for a festival of my music. One of the featured performers was Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead who had prepared all the backing tracks for my piece, Electric Counterpoint and then played electric guitar live against those tracks in concert. It was a great performance and we began talking. I found his background as a violist and his present active role as a composer extremely interesting when added to his major role in such an important and innovative rock group. Even Festival director Filip Berkowitz suggested I listen to Radiohead. When I returned home I made it a point to go online and listen to their music and the two songs mentioned above stuck in my head. It was not my intention to make anything like ‘variations’ on these songs, but rather to draw on their harmonies and sometimes melodic fragments and work them into my own piece. This is what I have done. As to actually hearing the original songs, the truth is—sometimes you hear them and sometimes you don’t."

Radio Rewrite, for flute, clarinet, two vibraphones, two pianos, electric bass, and string quartet, was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta with support from London Sinfonietta Entrepreneurs and Pioneers including Sir Richard Arnold, Trevor Cook, Susan Grollet in memory of Mark Grollet and Richard Thomas; Alarm Will Sound and Stanford Live in honor of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation with generous support from Van and Eddi Van Auken. It was premiered by the London Sinfonietta on March 5, 2013 at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

The complete program includes Clapping Music, Four Genesis Settings (from The Cave) arr. Alan Pierson, New York Counterpoint, City Life, Piano Counterpoint arr. Vincent Corver (New York Premiere), and Radio Rewrite (New York Premiere).

In addition to this Met Museum Presents event, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts will present an all-Reich concert February 26, part of the 2013–14 Pulitzer Concert Series. The concert will include performances of Triple Quartet, It’s Gonna Rain, and WTC 9/11.

To watch a video of Steve Reich discussing Radio Rewrite, click here.

To view the Online Score to Radio Rewrite, click here.

Press from the premiere in London:

"This is not so much a rewrite as a reimagining in Reich’s hyper-real style; instantly accessible, instantly enjoyable. The two vibraphones lay a pearlescent luminosity over the insistent rhythm of the faster movements (based on Jigsaw Falling into Place), while the two slow movements (drawn from Everything in Its Right Place) are content to move from one block chord to another, enjoying the sensation of the progression while sprinkling a duet for woodwind over the top."
—The Observer

"Steve Reich proved he’s both achingly hip and a grand old man… His brand-new Radio Rewrite referred to two Radiohead songs, but it was a long way from being a ‘cover version’ or arrangement… It was a fine display of compositional mastery, which had nothing to do with remix culture, and everything to do with old-fashioned virtues of harmony and counterpoint."
—Daily Telegraph





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