My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Wed
    23
  • Thu
    24
  • Fri
    25
  • Sat
    26
  • Sun
    27
  • Mon
    28
  • Tue
    29
Axline Lecture: Alfredo Jaar Apr 23, 2014 The San Diego Museum of Art and MCASD present the 14th annual Axline Lecture featuring Chilean-born artist Alfredo Jaar, whose work, Muxima, a looping video installation featuring multiple iterations of a popular Angolan folk song, is on view at SDMA. 60 other events on Wednesday, April 23
 
Canvassed | Art & culture
A tale of near-death, bloody steaks and unprecedented opulence
News
Why the city can’t maintain enough emergency trucks
News
Meet ‘Jackie,’ one of the many faces of sex-trafficking
Film
Documentary about ill-fated project leads our rundown of movies screening around town
Editorial
Ten bucks an hour just ain’t enough

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
. . . .
Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012

Steven Schick on ‘Music for 18 Musicians’

UCSD percussionist talks about Steve Reich’s ‘sound-world’

By Peter Holslin
stevenschick Steven Schick

Some 200 years from now, Steve Reich’s masterpiece Music for 18 Musicians will likely be regarded with the same admiration that’s now reserved for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Premiered in 1976, this hypnotic opus was a game-changer for western classical music. Inspired partly by West African drumming and Indonesian gamelan, it has no conductor or soloist. Instead, its pulsing patterns highlight the ensemble as a whole.

“There is this sense that the piece unfolds as a sort of communal, listening-based decision,” explains Steven Schick, a professor of music at UCSD. “There’s a lot of the piece where everybody is playing, or nearly everybody, and everyone has his or her own material, and that material interlocks with everybody else’s, and you can’t take anything away without it becoming weaker. It is really one of the most joyful pieces you can possibly imagine, because you’re just building this thing together.”

Schick’s ensemble Red Fish Blue Fish, composed of UCSD graduate students, will perform Music for 18 Musicians with five members of the esteemed New York ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars at Conrad Prebys Concert Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 18. (As part of the program, Reich himself will perform his piece Clapping Music, accompanied by Schick and members of Bang on a Can.)

In rehearsals, one of the biggest challenges has been getting into the piece’s repetitious, feather-light groove. To figure out the score’s distinct language—or “sound-world,” as Schick calls it—the best strategy is to just play it through.

“Sometimes you are in rehearsals, especially with conductors who are very finicky, and you play six seconds and they stop you, and they say, ‘Do it this way and that way.’ It doesn’t really work with this piece,” he says. “We spend a lot of time, especially in the early rehearsals, just playing.

“It’s more like a garage band than it is a symphony orchestra,” he adds. “Both the joy and the progress comes in playing with each other.”




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close