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October 17, 2005


Kirk McElhearn

I was fortunate to have seen Reich perform many times. Back in the early 80s in New York, I saw his ensemble at the Bottom Line (cabaret/club, from right next to the stage; they did the Octet material), the Guggenheim museum (in the downstairs auditorium, where they performed a bunch of the early material, such as Clapping Music), and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (for the retrospective series in, I think, 1982, where, overe several nights, they performed pretty much everything). I later saw Tehillim performed in Paris.

Yes, minimalism such as Reich does benefit from live performances. Watching Drumming from the balcony of the BAM showed how much it was about movement (of the performers) as well as the music itself. Hearing Octet and other works from really close gave me a different perspective on what the musicians _do_ when performing such works.

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