Brendan, Jake and I went to Colin Currie’s performance of Steve Reich’s Drumming at the Birmingham Town Hall this evening. We turned up early to go to the talk before the show, and actually learned quite a bit that was helpful and interesting, and that made the concert more enjoyable too.
This was the same group that played in London earlier in the week, and Steve Reich himself had attended and been moved to tears by the performance (apparently).
The first half was, I felt, better than the main piece itself. The Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ was especially good, as was the shorter Nagoya Marimbas. Really mesmerising.
But Drumming was the main event, and it was pretty amazing. Over an hour of minimalist, percussive music, phasing and shifting in and out on tuned drums, marimbas, glockenspiels and voices.
Reich is a favourite composer of mine, and I have a few of his works (including Drumming – and my favourite, Music for 18 Musicians), but I think I’ll be tracking down a few more over the next couple of weeks.
First time I’d been to a gig at the Town Hall too. Really impressed – great acoustics.