Something for the weekend: Steve Reich – Drumming

I was stuck on a very delayed train this evening and was thankful for the music on my phone to keep my spirits up. There is a lot of music that can be put on a 64GB memory card and it’s sometimes a bit of a tyranny of too much choice to decide what to play. One of my go-to artists when I want to zone out away from distractions is the work of the master minimalist composer Steve Reich. So today I went for the excellent Drumming album. It made the unexpectedly extended journey time far more bearable.

It is a masterful piece that makes use of Reich’s trademark approach of phasing rhythms. I was listening to the studio recording, but here I’ve posted an superb live recording of the first movement. If you’ve never heard this before, then you are in for a treat. It doesn’t matter what type of music you like; just lose yourself in the piece and I think you will marvel at the subtleties and complexities that can be got out of just a single rhythm that is tweaked and twisted with such finesse.


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