Steve Reich

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Stephen Michael “Steve” Reich (pronounced /ˈraɪʃ/;[1] born October 3, 1936) is an American composer who pioneered the style of minimalist music. His innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns (examples are his early compositions, "It's Gonna Rain" and "Come Out"), and the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts (for instance, "Pendulum Music" and "Four Organs"). These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially in the US. Reich's work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably the Grammy Award-winning Different Trains.

Reich's style of composition influenced many other composers and musical groups. Reich has been described by The Guardian as one of "a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history",[2] and the critic Kyle Gann has said Reich " considered, by general acclamation, America's greatest living composer."[3] On January 25, 2007, Reich was named the 2007 recipient of the Polar Music Prize, together with jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. On April 20, 2009, Reich was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Double Sextet.[4]


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