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Radio Rewrite

  • 543123

News & Reviews

  • In the 2016–17 season, the Barbican celebrates milestone birthdays of composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams. The series, Reich, Glass, Adams: the Sounds That Changed America, begins with two days celebrating Reich, who recently turned 80, and his music this weekend, featuring Barbican Associate Ensemble Britten Sinfonia and the London Symphony Orchestra. Among the pieces performed over several programs this weekend are Three Tales, Different Trains, Electric Counterpoint, City Life, Drumming, New York Counterpoint, You Are (Variations), Daniel Variations, The Desert Music, the European premiere of Pulse.

  • Steve Reich turned 80 years old last week, an occasion that is being celebrated in concerts across the globe. NPR marked the milestone with a feature on Weekend Edition Sunday yesterday, in which Anastasia Tsioulcas spoke with the composer and examines works that span his career. "When he began, Reich was an outsider," Tsioulcas concludes. "Now his work is embraced by temples of high culture around the world." You can hear the piece here.

  • About This Album

    Nonesuch released Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steve Reich’s album Radio Rewrite on September 30, 2014 (in the UK, October 6). Co-commissioned for and recorded by Alarm Will Sound, the title piece references two songs by the English band Radiohead. Alan Pierson conducts this premiere recording of Radio Rewrite, which was composed in 2012. The album also includes recordings of Electric Counterpoint (1987) and Piano Counterpoint, which is a 2011 transcription by Vincent Corver of Reich’s 1973 Six Pianos; the works are performed, respectively, by Radiohead’s guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, and pianist Vicky Chow, who is a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. 

    Reich says of his new piece: “Over the years composers have used pre-existing music (folk or classical) as material for new pieces of their own. Radio Rewrite, along with Proverb (Perotin) and Finishing the Hat—Two Pianos (Sondheim), is my modest contribution to this genre.” He continues, “Now, in the early 21st century, we live in an age of remixes where musicians take audio samples of other music and remix them into audio of their own. Being a composer who works with musical notation I chose to reference two songs from the rock group Radiohead for an ensemble of musicians playing non-rock instruments: ‘Everything in Its Right Place’ and ‘Jigsaw Falling into Place.’”

    Reich and Greenwood met in Krakow in 2010 during a festival of Reich’s music, where Greenwood gave a performance of Electric Counterpoint that its composer liked very much. (Greenwood has since performed it many more times, including during a London tribute to Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary at the Barbican Centre.) Reich says, “When I returned home I made it a point to go online and listen to Radiohead’s music and the two songs mentioned above stuck in my head. It was not my intention to make anything like ‘variations’ on these songs, but rather to draw on their harmonies and sometimes melodic fragments and work them into my own piece. As to actually hearing the original songs, the truth is—sometimes you hear them and sometimes you don’t.”

    Electric Counterpoint was commissioned by BAM for guitarist Pat Metheny. It is the third in a series of pieces (first Vermont Counterpoint in 1982 for flutist Ransom Wilson followed by New York Counterpoint in 1985 for clarinetist Richard Stolzman) with a soloist playing against a pre-recorded tape of themselves. In Electric Counterpoint the soloist pre-records as many as ten guitars and two electric bass parts and then plays the final eleventh guitar part live against the tape.

    Reich says Piano Counterpoint “is an arrangement of Six Pianos in which four of the six piano parts are pre-recorded and the last two are combined into a more virtuosic single part played live. For these last two parts to be played by a single pianist it was necessary to move some of the melodic patterns up an octave giving the piece an increased sparkle and intensity. The amplification of the live player along with the pre-recorded playback adds additional electricity. Combined with the practicality of needing only a solo pianist, this arrangement can be heard as improving on the original.”

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Electric Counterpoint (1987)
    Jonny Greenwood, guitar

    Piano Counterpoint (1973, arr. 2011)
    Arrangement of Six Pianos for piano and tape by Vincent Corver
    Vicky Chow, piano

    Radio Rewrite (2013)
    Alarm Will Sound
    Alan Pierson, conductor

    Erin Lesser, flute
    Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet
    Christopher Thompson, Matt Smallcomb, vibraphone
    John Orfe, Michael Harley, piano
    Courtney Orlando, Caleb Burhans, violin
    Nathan Schram, viola
    Stefan Freund, violoncello
    Miles Brown, electric bass

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Electric Counterpoint
    Produced, Recorded, and Mixed by Graeme Stewart
    Mastered by Christian Wright at Abbey Road Studios, London
    Commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. World Premiere: November 5, 1987, by Pat Metheny, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY.

    Piano Counterpoint
    Recorded by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, Yonkers, NY
    Hamburg Steinway D prepared by Arlan Harris
    Mixed and Edited by Florent Ghys
    World Premiere: October 23, 2012, by Vincent Corver, at the Pearl, Doha, Qatar.

    Radio Rewrite
    Produced by Judith Sherman
    Recorded April 3, 2014, in Studio A at Avatar Studios, New York, NY
    Engineer: John Kilgore
    Assistant Engineer: Tim Marchiafava
    Production Assistant: Jeanne Velonis
    Mixed by Judith Sherman, John Kilgore, Steve Reich, and Alan Pierson at John Kilgore Sound & Recording, New York, NY
    Co-commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Alarm Will Sound. World Premiere: March 5, 2013, by Sound Intermedia / London Sinfonietta / Brad Lubman, at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

    Album Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME

    Design by Barbara deWilde Design

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

More From

nonesuch's picture
on August 13, 2014 - 12:51pm
Artist Name: 
Steve Reich
Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 13:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

Steve Reich’s album Radio Rewrite features the first recording of the 2012 title piece, which references two songs by Radiohead and is performed by Alarm Will Sound led by Alan Pierson; Electric Counterpoint (1987), performed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood; and Piano Counterpoint, a 2011 transcription by Vincent Corver of Reich’s 1973 Six Pianos performed by pianist Vicky Chow, a member of Bang on a Can All-Stars. The Observer calls the title piece "instantly accessible, instantly enjoyable." NME says of the album: "Deeply affecting, this is a great showcase of a compelling mind."

Description: 

Nonesuch released Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steve Reich’s album Radio Rewrite on September 30, 2014 (in the UK, October 6). Co-commissioned for and recorded by Alarm Will Sound, the title piece references two songs by the English band Radiohead. Alan Pierson conducts this premiere recording of Radio Rewrite, which was composed in 2012. The album also includes recordings of Electric Counterpoint (1987) and Piano Counterpoint, which is a 2011 transcription by Vincent Corver of Reich’s 1973 Six Pianos; the works are performed, respectively, by Radiohead’s guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, and pianist Vicky Chow, who is a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. 

Reich says of his new piece: “Over the years composers have used pre-existing music (folk or classical) as material for new pieces of their own. Radio Rewrite, along with Proverb (Perotin) and Finishing the Hat—Two Pianos (Sondheim), is my modest contribution to this genre.” He continues, “Now, in the early 21st century, we live in an age of remixes where musicians take audio samples of other music and remix them into audio of their own. Being a composer who works with musical notation I chose to reference two songs from the rock group Radiohead for an ensemble of musicians playing non-rock instruments: ‘Everything in Its Right Place’ and ‘Jigsaw Falling into Place.’”

Reich and Greenwood met in Krakow in 2010 during a festival of Reich’s music, where Greenwood gave a performance of Electric Counterpoint that its composer liked very much. (Greenwood has since performed it many more times, including during a London tribute to Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary at the Barbican Centre.) Reich says, “When I returned home I made it a point to go online and listen to Radiohead’s music and the two songs mentioned above stuck in my head. It was not my intention to make anything like ‘variations’ on these songs, but rather to draw on their harmonies and sometimes melodic fragments and work them into my own piece. As to actually hearing the original songs, the truth is—sometimes you hear them and sometimes you don’t.”

Electric Counterpoint was commissioned by BAM for guitarist Pat Metheny. It is the third in a series of pieces (first Vermont Counterpoint in 1982 for flutist Ransom Wilson followed by New York Counterpoint in 1985 for clarinetist Richard Stolzman) with a soloist playing against a pre-recorded tape of themselves. In Electric Counterpoint the soloist pre-records as many as ten guitars and two electric bass parts and then plays the final eleventh guitar part live against the tape.

Reich says Piano Counterpoint “is an arrangement of Six Pianos in which four of the six piano parts are pre-recorded and the last two are combined into a more virtuosic single part played live. For these last two parts to be played by a single pianist it was necessary to move some of the melodic patterns up an octave giving the piece an increased sparkle and intensity. The amplification of the live player along with the pre-recorded playback adds additional electricity. Combined with the practicality of needing only a solo pianist, this arrangement can be heard as improving on the original.”

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Electric Counterpoint
Produced, Recorded, and Mixed by Graeme Stewart
Mastered by Christian Wright at Abbey Road Studios, London
Commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. World Premiere: November 5, 1987, by Pat Metheny, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY.

Piano Counterpoint
Recorded by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, Yonkers, NY
Hamburg Steinway D prepared by Arlan Harris
Mixed and Edited by Florent Ghys
World Premiere: October 23, 2012, by Vincent Corver, at the Pearl, Doha, Qatar.

Radio Rewrite
Produced by Judith Sherman
Recorded April 3, 2014, in Studio A at Avatar Studios, New York, NY
Engineer: John Kilgore
Assistant Engineer: Tim Marchiafava
Production Assistant: Jeanne Velonis
Mixed by Judith Sherman, John Kilgore, Steve Reich, and Alan Pierson at John Kilgore Sound & Recording, New York, NY
Co-commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Alarm Will Sound. World Premiere: March 5, 2013, by Sound Intermedia / London Sinfonietta / Brad Lubman, at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

Album Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME

Design by Barbara deWilde Design

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

543123

ns_album_releasedate: 
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 16:45
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597954654
Price: 
14.00
Label: 
FLAC
UPC: 
075597953695
Price: 
12.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597954692
Price: 
11.00
Label: 
96/24 HD FLAC
UPC: 
075597953336
Price: 
15.00
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Electric Counterpoint (1987)
Jonny Greenwood, guitar

Piano Counterpoint (1973, arr. 2011)
Arrangement of Six Pianos for piano and tape by Vincent Corver
Vicky Chow, piano

Radio Rewrite (2013)
Alarm Will Sound
Alan Pierson, conductor

Erin Lesser, flute
Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet
Christopher Thompson, Matt Smallcomb, vibraphone
John Orfe, Michael Harley, piano
Courtney Orlando, Caleb Burhans, violin
Nathan Schram, viola
Stefan Freund, violoncello
Miles Brown, electric bass

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