Steve Reich – “Clapping Music”

Steve Reich is a contemporary composer that works with generative music. Generative music is music that is ever-different and changing, and that is created by a system. One of Steve Reich’s most famous pieces is “Clapping Music,” (linked above) where he created a rhythm and overlays the same rhythms on top, but one or more eighth notes apart from the original version. The interest and music is created from how the same rhythms interact with each other depending on how much time is spaced in between the two rhythms. The video above shows the rhythm which can be counted as “one two three, one two, one, one two” in which the commas are counted as rests. When shift is called, the rhythm is shifted one eighth note apart from the original and the distance increases until they are both in unison by the end of the clip.

Francis Dhomont – “Citadel Interieure”

Francis Dhomont is a composer in the late 1900’s that focused on composing music that drew from natural sounds. This technique is called Musique concrète which is music created by everyday sounds such as people talking or drawers closing and any sound that we would not normally associate with music production. Utilizing this technique for composition sometimes leads to the final piece to lack melody, harmony, rhythm, and meter. However, this music can tell stories that cannot be told with typical instruments.
His piece “Citadel Interieure,” (linked above) tells a story of a denied reality in a Subterranean Labyrinth, which would be difficult to create the same effect with standard instruments, even with a full orchestra. His innovative compositions evoke new specific emotions that opened new boundaries in the field of music.

Click here to learn more about Generative Music
Click here to learn more about Musique Concrète

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