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Posted:
October 18, 2000

Minimalist Composer Reich
To be Festival Keynote Speaker

Minimalism composer Steve Reich, one of the founders of the musical style that changed the way music was created in the 20th Century, will be the keynote speaker at the 23rd annual Festival of New American Music at California State University, Sacramento, Nov. 1 - 12.

Reich will talk at noon, Thursday, Nov. 9 in the CSUS Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall. He is also expected to play recorded exerpts of his music.

The free lecture will be followed by a performance of Reich's compositions by CSUS student ensembles at 3 p.m.

Influenced by non-Western music, Reich helped create minimalism. The form uses a high degree of repetition with a minimal amount of material to create music. Reich is especially noted for creating compositions with repetitious sounds from a single instrument.

Reich's piece "Different Trains" will be performed by festival returnees the Lydian String Quartet at 8 p.m., Sunday Nov. 11 in the Music Recital Hall. As a child, Reich, who is Jewish and whose name is pronounced with an "sh" sound at the end, rode back and forth between his separated parents' homes in Los Angeles and New York. The haunting piece is about Reich's realization that had he been living in Germany as a child during the Holocaust, rather than the United States, he would have ridden horribly "different trains." Throughout the piece, Reich stirs up emotional images with the sounds of background voices.

For more information call CSUS professor Stephen Blumberg at (916) 278-5155.

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