In case you’ve never heard this, one of the great musical works of the 20th century, from 1966. Just one voice, and a tape loop machine.
Reich’s style of composition influenced many composers and musical groups. Reich has been described, in The Guardian by music critic Andrew Clements, as one of “a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history”, and the critic Kyle Gann has said Reich “may…be considered, by general acclamation, America’s greatest living composer.”
From an interview:
“[…] I drove a cab in San Francisco, and in New York I worked as a part-time social worker. Phil Glass and I had a moving company for a short period of time [Chelsea Light Moving, which is now the name of Thurston Moore’s newest band]. I did all kinds of odd jobs […] I started making a living as a performer in my own ensemble. I would never have thought that it was how I was going to survive financially. It was a complete wonder.”
—Steve Reich, from an interview with Richard Kessler, 1998