Colin Currie on Steve Reich
Steve Reich is a musical colossus. Of immeasurable influence on music’s development for over six decades, his output inspires, challenges, and above all captivates. I first heard his work as a teenager, an immediate obsession with Music for 18 Musicians leading to a comprehensive investigation of his other works. Forming an ensemble devoted to a huge number of these, and indeed a brand new one, has been an incredible adventure, that has brought together a brilliant group of players all of whom also grew up knowing and loving this music.
I met the composer in 2011, at a concert of ours at London’s Southbank Centre, when we unleashed our version of Drumming on his ears for the first time. Overwhelmed by the direction we had taken the piece in, and delighted by the fresh approach of a new generation of players, this marked the beginning of his association with the group, as frequent adviser and supporter of what we do. This relationship has been of an immensely rewarding nature, as we continue to absorb invaluable insight into a broad range of his pieces.
Our aim is to bring this music to as wide an audience as possible. We are driven by its magical allure, its energy and its sheer excitement. Our own Quartet (2014) is a pure joy, and another fascinating turn in this composer’s endeavours. Fresh, supple, haunting, it is an astounding addition to our repertoire, even as the composer nears his 80th birthday.
This group celebrates all that Reich has achieved: his legacy to music of such incredible width and unequalled originality. We salute and cherish him, and relish bringing it all to life in concert.