Fine art and music

I just bought a great CD by Steve Reich that contains two pieces of music: 2×5 and Double Sextet. The latter composition won Reich a Pullitzer Prize in 2009. The cover of the CD is the painting by Jasper Johns entitled 0–9.

I think the choice of this artwork, comprised of very ordered grid-based forms, is particularly apt. Steve Reich’s music is highly organized with complex, repeating musical sequences where counting out the rhythmical patterns is both the point and the challenge of the musical compositions.

Go to Amazon and listen to the short samples of the music and see what I mean. The last track, 6. III. Fast 7:08 (Performed By Bang On A Can), probably conveys the idea the best.

If you’re at all intrigued by the music you might look into Different Trains by Reich. In this composition he takes spoken narrative and combines it with instrumentation in a way that needs to be heard rather than described.

Note: The painting by Johns is a rectangle 35″ x 20″. The white shape seen here is the result of its placement on the CD booklet.

The CD cover uses the same artwork but includes the artist’s name and the compositions.

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