Tuesday 7 October 2014
SCREENING Steve Reich: City Life "A documentary"
DIR: MANFRED WAFFENDER
The Shoe Factory, Nicosia / 9:30pm
Director: Manfred Waffender
Born in 1936, Steve Reich is one of the most significant American composers of the 20th century. Manfred Waffender's major documentary traces the background to the creation of his piece City Life. Reich masterfully captures sounds from New York City street life with the aid of two sampling keyboards and microphone, forging the noise of the city street into a work for string quartet, wind, percussion and two pianos. The film culminates in a performance of the piece from the Frankfurt Opera House, with the Ensemble Modern conducted by Sian Edwards.
Reich said about City Life, “The idea that any sound may be used as part of a piece of music has been in the air during much of the 20th Century. From the use of taxi horns in Gershwin’s An American in Paris through Varese’s sirens, Antheil’s airplane propeller, Cage’s radio, and rock and roll’s use of all of the above and more starting at least in the 1970s, and more recently in rap music, the desire to include everyday sounds in music has been growing. The sampling keyboard now makes this a practical reality. In City Life not only samples of speech but also car horns, door slam, air brakes, subway chimes, pile driver, car alarms, heartbeats, boat horns, buoys, fire and police sirens are part of the fabric of the piece.”