DiscoEx Archive: NPR = Not Playing Reich
Just a cute side note. This morning while listening to “Fresh Air” there was an interview with Steve Reich, the legendary composer of experimental music for tape recorders, pianos, trains and other interesting sound sources.
The interview paused so we could listen to a famous early-60’s piece by Reich called “It’s gonna rain” featuring the cut-up, phasing sounds of two tape recorders manipulating a recording of a Pentacostal preacher. It started to get pretty awesome, the word blurring into an intense wall of overlapping sound, happy studio accident become legend.
That’s when the local NPR radio station operator decided that these sounds coudln’t possibly be intentional, so they faded it out and announced techncial difficulties! WTF!!?!?
And this is really indicative of my feelings about our local radio station. They bury their heads in Mozart and Armstrong, ignoring those geniuses of music and composition who have pushed forward even their own beloved genres of “classical” music and jazz because long-dead, time-tested compositional material brings in the regular listeners, deaf and drooling though they may be.
Take a chance! Listen to Steve Reich, Stockhausen, Eric Satie, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn.