Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Favorite

My new favorite record is the Kronos Quartet's recording of Steve Reich's Triple Quartet. And on the same record is "Electric Guitar Phase," "Music for a Large Ensemble" and "Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint."

Steve Reich has always drawn me into myself, the droning combination of the modern and the ancient pressed together to make a sound which comes from nowhere and everywhere, a tumbling momentum, a patience with tempo and patterns. In these times when I'm trying to get more inside myself I listen to Reich over and over, and the textures become deeper, almost like valleys you can walk through if you listen close enough.

Take "Electric Guitar Phase," which at first sounds like a crush of tones. But once you really get to know the piece, and you can count it, hear each thread, each sad, sawwing instrument, you can hear the way it works, you can walk it like space. The doors open up -- like when Keanu finally sees the Matrix; like when Jodie Foster sees the whole picture in the last ten minutes of Silence of the Lambs.

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