In a classic Reich piece such as “Piano Phase”—given an electrifying, video-enhanced performance by David Cossin at Bang on a Can—you can perceive the influence of modal jazz or Motown bass lines more than you can hear them. This implacably original sound influenced much pop music in turn, and the composer eventually found himself with the unlikely title of “Father of DJ Culture.”
He also says that the "defining moment" of the event was James Tenney's playing of fifteen gongs. Not coincidentally, in Sonic Youth's Goodbye to the 20th Century CD mentioned previously, the standout work, above those by Cage, Reich, Ono, et. al., was Tenney's Having Never Written a Note for Percussion. This is an ominous, machine-like work for percussion, striking if not beautiful.
Other works at the concert:
- Muddy Waters. Ingram Marshall.
- Vortex. Annea Lockwood.
- Streetwalker. Donnacha Dennehy.
- Pelvic Noise. Thurston Moore (of the rock group Sonic Youth)
- Stroking Piece No. 1. Thurston Moore.
- Pendulum Music. Steve Reich. (also recorded on Sonic Youth's Goodbye 20th Century CD)
Kyle Gann hears the tune from Piano Phase on NPR, and counts it as a victory for postclassical music.