Steve Reich is widely regarded as one of the World’s greatest living composers, his tireless approach to cutting edge composition and arrangement unlike that of almost any other musician. His five-decade long career has seen him ascend from New York’s vibrant and now much vaunted underground scene of the early Seventies to become cherished the world over, with European audiences particularly in awe of his vast and varied canon.
Though his background would be generally considered Modern Classical, Reich has applied his ear to an incredible range of music, from the most experimental Avant-Garde to the instinctive drumming of indigenous tribes people. Along the way he’s also inadvertently laid seeds for sub-genres as divergent as Hip Hop, Techno and Dubstep, with many artists and producers taking from his enduring principle of repurposing and renewing existing sounds and sources and create something completely new and original
This summer he will return to London for a much anticipated show. He is now stranger to the Capital; in 2006 the Barbican held a massive retrospective of his work, and as recently as last summer his piece Drumming was performed on the Southbank. This month the setting is a little different, as Reich is one of the headliners of Bloc. The weekend long celebration of electronic music moves into the inner city for the first time and establishes London’s newest and perhaps most striking event space – London Pleasure Gardens in the Royal Victoria Docks. The once derelict space in the heart of Olympic London will provide a thrilling back drop for this most individual of events.
Reich will perform with the Bang On A Can All Stars, a fluid group of NY instrumentalists all drawn form the festival of the same name. Together they will revisit some of the highlights of Reich’s unparalleled career, though a full running order is yet to be released. Looking further into the future, Reich is already booked for a return visit to the Capital in March 2013. He will perform with London Sinfonietta at the Royal Festival Hall, and premiere a brand new work with its roots based very much in the UK: Radio Rewrite will be inspired by the work of Radiohead, with Reich taking on the Oxford band’s celebrated music and creating something completely unique.