szk! | Exploring Steve Reich’s Piano Phase
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Exploring Steve Reich’s Piano Phase

Ten years ago I discovered the Steve Reich’s Piano Phase (1967), and since this moment this piece became for me a huge fascinating source of inspiration and reflexion about minimalism and music perception.

“In Piano Phase, their are two pianists beginning by playing a rapid twelve-note melodic figure over and over again in unison (E4 F4 B4 C5 D5 F4 E4 C5 B4 F4 D5 C5). After a while, one of the pianists begins to play his part slightly faster than the other. When he is playing the second note of the figure at the same time the other pianist is playing the first note, the two pianists play at the same tempo again. They are therefore playing notes at exactly the same time, but they are not the same notes as they were at the start of the piece. The process is repeated.”

Working recently on Max For Live devices I included the Steve Reich notes’s sequence into one of my patch dedicated to create midi loops. Here is a demonstration of how the device works and allows to explore the infinite Steve Reich’s piece sonic possibilities. If you never heard about Piano Phase, go watch and listen to the videos, hope it could become a great discover and inspiration for you too.


Exploring Piano Phase with the M4L Midi Loop Drawer device

Live performances on the web :

Special for this performance with dancers (Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & Michele Anne de Mey)

Online ressources to explore the piece :

More about my device :