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  • Thursday, December 9, 2010
    Steve Reich's "2x5" Winning Remix Featured on BBC's "The Strand"

    Steve Reich's 2x5 and the Nonesuch Records / Indaba Music contest to remix the piece's third movement were featured on the BBC World Service arts program The Strand yesterday. Presenter Harriet Gilbert spoke with the composer and with the creator of the winning remix, musician Dominique Leone, about the contest and why 2x5 lent itself to the process.

    Reich, no stranger to having his music reworked, as on the 1999 album Reich (Remixed) and the later EP Reich: Remixed 2006, sees a long history to the concept of one artist putting his own spin on the work of another. In his interview with The Strand, he traces the roots of remixing back to the 15th century and Josquin des Prez as well as to later varitions by Brahms on the music of Haydn. "Remixing is a modern take on variations," he suggests.

    For contest winner Dominique Leone, whose remix Reich chose as his favorite among the more than 200 contest submissions, the project was very much a labor of love. "I love Steve Reich's music; it was a big influence on me," he tells The Strand.

    Leone goes on to explain how he went about taking the elements of Reich's work, as performed on the Nonesuch recording by Bang on a Can, and reworked it to create the winning remix, most notably adding his own vocal line to the mix.

    "It was a lot of fun, because Steve Reich's music is so based in rhythm anyway," he explains, "so when you can take little chunks of it and manipulate that and exploit the rhythm that's already there, it's not very difficult to make something that sounds good."

    For Leone, the prize winnings, nice as they may be, were never the motivating factor in his entering the contest. "I really just did this because I am such a big Steve Reich fan. You know I really was happy with the opportunity to get those original files and play with them a little bit," Leone admits. "Honestly, the biggest difference that this makes to me is that Steve Reich heard something that I did and liked it. And the fact that I got to work on his music, that I had those files, that's really the biggest thing."

    There's much more in Wednesday's episode of The Strand, which you can hear again online at bbc.co.uk.

    You can listen to Leone's winning remix of the third movement of 2x5 here:

    For the original recording of 2x5, pick up a copy of Steve Reich's latest album, on which the piece is paired with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet, in the Nonesuch Store. The CD is now just $11.38 as part of the store's 3rd anniversary sale of 33% off all CDs, LPs, and DVDs.

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Steve Reich's "2x5" Winning Remix Featured on BBC's "The Strand"

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on December 9, 2010 - 12:27pm
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Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 16:30
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Steve Reich's 2x5 and the Nonesuch Records / Indaba Music contest to remix the piece were featured on the BBC World Service's The Strand. The composer and Dominique Leone, the creator of the winning remix, talk about the contest, the classical roots of remixing, and why 2x5 lent itself to the process. "Steve Reich's music is so based in rhythm," says Leone, "so when you can take little chunks of it and manipulate that and exploit the rhythm that's already there, it's not very difficult to make something that sounds good." Hear the remix here.

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Steve Reich's 2x5 and the Nonesuch Records / Indaba Music contest to remix the piece's third movement were featured on the BBC World Service arts program The Strand yesterday. Presenter Harriet Gilbert spoke with the composer and with the creator of the winning remix, musician Dominique Leone, about the contest and why 2x5 lent itself to the process.

Reich, no stranger to having his music reworked, as on the 1999 album Reich (Remixed) and the later EP Reich: Remixed 2006, sees a long history to the concept of one artist putting his own spin on the work of another. In his interview with The Strand, he traces the roots of remixing back to the 15th century and Josquin des Prez as well as to later varitions by Brahms on the music of Haydn. "Remixing is a modern take on variations," he suggests.

For contest winner Dominique Leone, whose remix Reich chose as his favorite among the more than 200 contest submissions, the project was very much a labor of love. "I love Steve Reich's music; it was a big influence on me," he tells The Strand.

Leone goes on to explain how he went about taking the elements of Reich's work, as performed on the Nonesuch recording by Bang on a Can, and reworked it to create the winning remix, most notably adding his own vocal line to the mix.

"It was a lot of fun, because Steve Reich's music is so based in rhythm anyway," he explains, "so when you can take little chunks of it and manipulate that and exploit the rhythm that's already there, it's not very difficult to make something that sounds good."

For Leone, the prize winnings, nice as they may be, were never the motivating factor in his entering the contest. "I really just did this because I am such a big Steve Reich fan. You know I really was happy with the opportunity to get those original files and play with them a little bit," Leone admits. "Honestly, the biggest difference that this makes to me is that Steve Reich heard something that I did and liked it. And the fact that I got to work on his music, that I had those files, that's really the biggest thing."

There's much more in Wednesday's episode of The Strand, which you can hear again online at bbc.co.uk.

You can listen to Leone's winning remix of the third movement of 2x5 here:

For the original recording of 2x5, pick up a copy of Steve Reich's latest album, on which the piece is paired with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet, in the Nonesuch Store. The CD is now just $11.38 as part of the store's 3rd anniversary sale of 33% off all CDs, LPs, and DVDs.

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Steve Reich: "Double Sextet / 2x5" [cover]

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