TED Fellows Retreat 2015. Aug 2015
Steve Reich at 80: The Phases Of A Lifetime In Music
October 9, 2016
Reich has continued to find music in speech, hearing melody in the flow of words. “I mean, what tells you more about a person, a photograph of them, or a recording of their voice?” the composer says.
The melody of the human voice became one of Reich’s signatures. He quotes Czech composer Leos Janáček: “Speech melody is like a water lily whose roots go down into the bottom of the soul.”
In this epic overview, Michael Tilson Thomas traces the development of classical music through the development of written notation, the record, and the re-mix.
“I think what music does is gives you a shorthand for emotion,” Hansa says. “If you don’t want to talk, or have a commercial where it’s just words, words, words, what songs can do is get you from Point A to Point B and connect with an audience quicker.”
Sometimes when the music is right, you don’t need words at all. Paoletta used to write for Billboard magazine before coming to Comma Music. He looks back to a song that broke through in this way over 10 years ago: “Days Go By” by Dirty Vegas. It was used in a Mitsubishi ad in 2002.
Goodall traces the roots of syncopation back to Africa, long before the West could grasp the concept, and explains the evolution of the shifting of accents in Western music using Philip Glass‘s “Akhenaten” vs. Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” to illustrate.