Radio Rewrite Premiering Tonight

Steve Reich, considered by many to be the greatest living composer, will be premiering Radio Rewrite tonight at Bing Concert Hall at Stanford.

In case you’re not familiar with the piece, it’s said to be a bit of an electronic/rock/classical/minimalist singularity in that it is a Steve Reich re-imagining of Radiohead‘s Jigsaw Falling Into Place and Bodysnatchers, performed by the group who famously and heroically figured out a way to perform Aphex Twin music acoustically.

In the article, a great quote about Acoustica, the Aphex Twin project Alarm Will Sound did back in 2000:

“When the Aphex Twin idea was first brought up to the group there was immediate factions and divisions,” Chuck says. “I was one of the people who was like, ‘No fucking way.’ One of our percussionists said electronica is meant for machines, not people. With a machine you can be precise down to the millisecond. The sound is on, and then it’s off. No human can produce that kind of control, and we will look like fools.”

Chuck continues, “I am glad I was outnumbered because it ended up being a great project. It’s interesting because it has a problem at its core: It’s machine music played by humans. Once you start playing it, you transcend that problem because humans just want to make music. I don’t want to be stupid enough to say there’s no such thing as genres and labels, but I think it’s interesting when those boundaries are crossed. Whether it’s a 20th-century technology like a computer, or a 17th-century technology like a violin, when you come across great music, you want to play it.”

When people state all the extramusical reasons for creating and teaching music, it doesn’t appeal to me that much – groups like Alarm Will Sound (along with other great musicians and creators of art in general) make music for the same reason mountaineers climb Everest. Because it’s there.  Best of luck to these pioneers of new music tonight.

Read the full piece over at Riverfront Times

Author: Will Kuhn

I teach music technology to high schoolers. I do some other stuff too. @willkuhn on Twitter.

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