Learning to Appreciate Steve Reich

by nancytrinh

I have just managed to listen to Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain, Part I” in its entirety a few hours prior to writing this post. The first time I heard the piece (2 weeks ago, on Canvas) I was taken aback because it was quite unlike anything I had heard before. I could not handle it for more than a minute and a half. I tried listening to it again several times after that, but was always either interrupted by events, texts, or calls, or I found that I just did not have the mental strength to give the piece my full attention. However, I found that with each successive attempt, my appreciation of the piece increased. I was also reminded of Family Guy’s Ollie Williams’ proclaiming “It’s gonna rain!” on television, and the association made me like it even more.

Learning to appreciate Steve Reich’s piece has led me to understand how intellectually demanding some music can be. After listening to “It’s Gonna Rain,” I have tried my ear at his other pieces, namely “Music for 18 Musicians,” and “Double Sextet,” and am becoming quite a fan of his work. It is exciting to think of the music remaining to be discovered and enjoyed in the rest of this class.

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