Imagine this, you’re stuck in traffic. You’re desperate to get ahead with your journey but your bus goes the long way and makes loads of inconvenient stops which gradually irritate you. All you want is A to B. That’s a metaphor for how I’d imagine someone would feel listen to some of Steve Reich’s music for the first time.
What I’m here for is to comment how listening to Steve Reich’s open process when making music taught to embrace endurance and patience, as his source material loops endlessly, pushing timings against each other – some inwards, some in different directions.
The very fact of keeping his sources grounded and repeating when I expect variation tell me to keep listening [as a means of preserving], as it reminds me that major developments tend to be on a gradual basis rather than an instant one. (instant vs delayed gratification)
A joy of Steve Reich’s work is he leaves the process open so you can hear how it’s happening over real time, sometimes we’re lucky enough to see our own developments in real time and sometimes we see them at a far later stage.
You can always skip to the peak (or drop) and get what you want but sometimes it’s sweeter just to wait a little and see where things go, however long they may take you.
Thanks for reminding me, Steve.
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