Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CKD385
Recording details: January 2009
Blackbird Studio, Nashville, USA
Produced by Kim Campbell
Engineered by George Massenburg & Kazuri Arai
Release date: May 2011
Total duration: 14 minutes 52 seconds

'Steve Reich's trademark mesmeric repetitions take on another quality here when they are lifted away from their intended scoring and given to percussion. Japanese virtuoso Kuniko finds new sonorities in Electric Counterpoint, written for guitars, when transferring it to steel pans, marimba and vibraphone, and brings Vermont Counterpoint (for flutes) to dazzling, invigorating life on the vibraphone. All these studio works involve vast amounts of pre-recording to refine their pleasing results, none more so than Six Marimbas Counterpoint which involves five pre-recorded tracks behind a solo line. It's a hypnotic and strangely calming experience' (The Observer)

'The music is familiar, but the artist isn't. This is Japanese percussionist Kuniko's debut album for Linn, in which she premieres her own percussion arrangements of three of American minimalist Steve Reich's 'counterpoints' of the 1980s—Electronic Counterpoint, Six Marimbas Counterpoint and Vermont Counterpoint. She focuses on a sound world dominated by marimba, vibraphone and steel pans, which colour these works with soft-cushioned textures. But it is her direct collaboration with Reich, and a worldwide network of top sound producers, that adds sheen to the multi-tracked finished article' (The Scotsman)

'If you're a fan of Steve Reich's work, you'll certainly find this an interesting disc … Reich's music is based on rhythm, and percussion is the most apt type of instrument to perform it' (MusicWeb International) » More

Electric Counterpoint
composer
1987; arranged in 2009 for steel pans, vibraphone & marimba and pre-recorded tape
arranger

Fast  [6'53]
Slow  [3'22]
Fast  [4'37]

Introduction
Electric Counterpoint (1987) was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival for guitarist Pat Metheny. It was composed during the summer of 1987. The duration is about fifteen minutes. It is the third in a series of pieces (first Vermont Counterpoint in 1982 for flutist Ransom Wilson followed by New York Counterpoint in 1985 for clarinettist Richard Stolzman) all dealing with a soloist playing against a pre-recorded tape of themselves. In Electric Counterpoint the soloist pre-records as many as ten guitars and two electric bass parts and then plays the final eleventh guitar part live against the tape. I would like to thank Pat Metheny for showing me how to improve the piece in terms of making it more idiomatic for the guitar.

Electric Counterpoint is in three movements; fast, slow, fast, played one after the other without pause. The first movement, after an introductory pulsing section where the harmonies of the movement are stated, uses a theme derived from Central African horn music that I became aware of through the ethnomusicologist Simha Arom. That theme is built up in eight voice canon and while the remaining two guitars and bass play pulsing harmonies the soloist plays melodic patterns that result from the contrapuntal interlocking of those eight pre-recorded guitars.

The second movement cuts the tempo in half, changes key and introduces a new theme, which is then slowly built up to nine guitars in canon. Once again two other guitars and bass supply harmony while the soloist brings out melodic patterns that result from the overall contrapuntal web.

The third movement returns to the original tempo and key and introduces a new pattern in triple meter. After building up a four guitar canon two bass guitars enter suddenly to further stress the triple meter. The soloist then introduces a new series of strummed chords that are then built up in three guitar canon. When these are complete the soloist returns to melodic patterns that result from the overall counterpoint when suddenly the basses begin to change both key and meter back and forth between E minor and C minor and between 3/2 and 12/8 so that one hears first three groups of four eighth notes and then four groups of three eighth notes. These rhythmic and tonal changes speed up more and more rapidly until at the end the basses slowly fade out and the ambiguities are finally resolved in 12/8 and E minor.

from notes by Steve Reich 2011

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch