Tehillim and The Desert Music are two scores from the '80s that show Reich entering the musical mainstream without losing his distinctive voice or his radical approach to harmony and orchestration. The Desert Music (with poems by William Carlos Williams) is a bit of an oddity — a work for full orchestra and chorus from a composer who generally prefers smaller ensembles with more "bite." Tehillim, although it exists in a full orchestra version, is meant to be played with only a few strings, meaning that Reich's beloved mallet percussion instruments get to drive. Using Psalm texts in Hebrew, it is one of Reich's most accessible and exciting scores.
By Seth Colter Walls on 10.28.14 in Features
John Luther Adams tells Seth Colter-Walls why he spent the premiere of his Pulitzer-winning work on an operating table.
By Britt Robson on 09.30.14 in Reviews
Become Ocean is both profound and easy to grasp. Composer John Luther Adams sets the premise: "Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing th...
By John Schaefer on 04.29.14 in Reviews
Julia Wolfe's masterful meditation on the legend of John Henry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, and it's not hard to see why. Written for the Bang On A Can All-Stars (Wolfe is a co-founder of Bang On A Can)...
By Jayson Greene on 03.30.14 in Features
The Wilco drummer talks about making the leap to composition.