A Touchstone of Modern Music in Audiophile Sound: Analog Spark's 180g LP of Steve Reich Live/Electric Music Cut from the Original Analog Tapes, Pressed at RTI, Housed in Stoughton Jacket
Unavailable since its original release in 1968, Steve Reich's Columbia Masterworks debut – Live/Electric Music, the record that serves as the genesis of his signature phasing and tape loop techniques – remains a touchstone of modern music. Cut from the original analog tapes by Ryan Smith, pressed at RTI, and housed in a Stoughton tip-on jacket, Analog Spark's reissue gives it the due it deserves.
"'It's Gonna Rain' was composed in San Francisco in January of 1965. The voice belongs to a young black Pentecostal preacher who called himself Brother Walter. I recorded him along with the pigeons one Sunday afternoon in Union Square in downtown San Francisco. Later at home I started playing with tape loops of his voice and, by accident , discovered the process of letting two identical loops go gradually in and out of phase with each other.
"'Violin Phase' was composed in New York in October 1967. Here, the process discovered with tape recorders is applied to a human being playing against several pre-recorded tapes of himself. In two sections of the piece the performer gives a sort of auditory "chalk talk" by simply playing one of the pre-existent inner voices in the tape a bit louder and then gradually fading out, leaving the listener momentarily more aware of that particular figure. The choice of these figures is largely up to the performer, and I want to thank Paul Zukofsky for bringing out several very interesting ones I never would have though of without him.
"'It's Gonna Rain' is the first and 'Violin Phase' the last of a series of pieces all dealing with the process of gradually shifting phase relations between two or more identical repeating figures. This process determines both the note-to-note (sound-to-sound) detail and the over-all form as well. It is a process we can all hear." - Steve Reich