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Narrative trails in the speech-based music of Steve Reich

Narrative trails in the speech-based music of Steve Reich
Narrative trails in the speech-based music of Steve Reich
This thesis considers Steve Reich's speech-based compositions between 1963 and 1988 in the light of their source materials. The collection comprises seven pieces: The Plastic Haircut(1964); Livelihood (1964); It's Gonna Rain (1965); Come Out (1966); Buy Art, Buy Art (1967); My Name Is (1967), and Different Trains (1988). The sources for these pieces constitute a plethora of hitherto unexamined audio recordings, transcriptions of which are included in a separate volume of appendices.

The study presents a detailed transcription and consideration of these archival sources, culminating in a new narrative reading of each of Steve Reich's speech-based pieces from the first three decades of his compositional output. Although some recordings now exist on-line, Reich's decision in 2008 to transfer his private archive to the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland, has opened up a much larger collection. This considerable body of source material allows a new understanding of the stories told by each of these seven pieces. Whilst firmly rejecting the notion that his music tells stories, Reich has accepted that the documentary nature of the recorded materials for his speech-based works marks them out as a special case. This invites scrutiny of the relationship between these recordings and the pieces themselves, shedding new light on the narrative trails that connect them.
Pymm, John Michael
6471b219-1397-4667-abd5-1b7be0b1fef8
Pymm, John Michael
6471b219-1397-4667-abd5-1b7be0b1fef8
Nicholls, David
03b203c2-f929-441a-88b7-8af9d5211270

(2013) Narrative trails in the speech-based music of Steve Reich. University of Southampton, School of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 371pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis considers Steve Reich's speech-based compositions between 1963 and 1988 in the light of their source materials. The collection comprises seven pieces: The Plastic Haircut(1964); Livelihood (1964); It's Gonna Rain (1965); Come Out (1966); Buy Art, Buy Art (1967); My Name Is (1967), and Different Trains (1988). The sources for these pieces constitute a plethora of hitherto unexamined audio recordings, transcriptions of which are included in a separate volume of appendices.

The study presents a detailed transcription and consideration of these archival sources, culminating in a new narrative reading of each of Steve Reich's speech-based pieces from the first three decades of his compositional output. Although some recordings now exist on-line, Reich's decision in 2008 to transfer his private archive to the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland, has opened up a much larger collection. This considerable body of source material allows a new understanding of the stories told by each of these seven pieces. Whilst firmly rejecting the notion that his music tells stories, Reich has accepted that the documentary nature of the recorded materials for his speech-based works marks them out as a special case. This invites scrutiny of the relationship between these recordings and the pieces themselves, shedding new light on the narrative trails that connect them.

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More information

Published date: March 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Music

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374883
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374883
PURE UUID: 08e6c62e-db69-40a5-a609-04bddfed809f

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Date deposited: 04 Mar 2015 15:24
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:31

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