Tag Archives: Steve Reich: Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint

Weekly Vinyl – Steve Reich

10 Jul

Steve Reich: Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint
Kronos Quartet, Pat Metheny,
(1989)
SONY DSC
This meandering and pleasant album holds some horrors within.
Composer Steve Reich wrote Different Trains when thinking about his childhood. He spent much time on trains between New York and Los Angeles during World War Two shuttling between his separated parents. Thinking about this as an adult, he realised that had he been born in Europe, his train trips might not have been so exciting and adventurous. The music is mesmerising and fantastically executed by the Kronos Quartet. One can imagine the trip but not the horror.
The Electric Counterpoint is the other composition on this album. Equally eclectic and flowing, this piece is divided into three movements – fast, slow and fast. These movements are played without a pause and meld into each other in a harmonious flow of music. Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny plays all the parts in a tape looping show of virtuosity.
Exquisite stuff.