Cheerful and savage
Steve Reich completed Drumming in the autumn of 1971. It is a key work that simultaneously draws up a balance of his work and anticipates his future development.
Jean Luc Plouvier: ‘One could regard it as Reich’s last radical work: it is the cheerful and savage conclusion of a period of uncompromising avant-garde minimalism. The diversity of timbres, the suppleness of the processes, the structure in four movements and the long Dionysian ending place this work at the start of the evolution that led Reich to a synthesis of minimalism and classical tradition. Like all his work, Drumming is full of subtly dosed minuscule coups de théâtre which dramatise the process without spoiling its flux: the introduction of a new instrument, changes in register, melodic permutations, and so on.’
• At the suggestion of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who created a choreography based on this work for Rosas in 1998, Drumming was included in Ictus’ repertoire in 2000. This is one of the ensemble’s evergreens you should not miss.
Ictus Georges-Elie Octors, Gerrit Nulens, Miquel Bernat, Géry Cambier, Michael Weilacher, Jessica Ryckewaert, Tom De Cock, Koen Plaetinck (percussion), Michael Schmid (flute), NN (soprano), NN (alto) | sound direction Alex Fostier | production Eric Verberdt