Dir. Eric Darmon, Franck Mallet
“Steve Reich – Phase to Face” is a compelling portrait of the 20th century minimalist music pioneer Steve Reich and his work. Today a living legend, born in 1936, the composer speaks to an audience of very different generations and listening experience through his music. His formation was influenced by the works of Bach, Stravinsky and Coltrane, jazz, singing recitation of Hebrew texts and traditional African music, as well as studies with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud. However, in the first larger works “It’s Gonna Rain”, “Come Out”, “Piano Phase”, “Violin Phase”, which appeared already in the mid-1960s, one could notice Reich’s departure from the modernism prevailing at the time and a movement towards his personal minimalist style of expression. His phase shift technique, short repetitive patterns and pulsating rhythms have created a distinctly recognizable musical signature.
The film, which begins with a surprise phone call to the then 72-year-old Reich, goes through the most important moments of the composer’s creative path, from the founding of the band “Steve Reich and Musicians” to the performances in Le Havre, Tokyo, Rome, New York and Manchester, which included the latest sampling and video technology. Excerpts from “It’s Gonna Rain” (1965), “Piano Phase” (1967), “Pendulum” (1968), “Clapping Music” (1972), “Music for Pieces of Wood” (1973), “Music for 18 Musicians” (1976), “Tehillim” (1981), “Sextet” (1985), “Different Trains” (1988), “The Cave Mémoire magnétique” (1993), “Proverb” (1995), “2 x 5” (2009).
Directed by Eric Darmon, Franck Mallet
ARTE France / Mémoire magnétique, 2009
See the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WccrJQAZaCQ