Who is Steve Reich?: Born in New York City in 1936, Steve Reich is one of the pioneers of the minimalism movement (which started in the 1960s [other pioneers being Terry Riley, Philip Glass, La Monte Young]).
For those of you who don’t know, minimalism is somehow both self-descriptive and hard to describe. Minimalist compositions are often repetitive (for lack of a better term), consist of arrangements written for a small amount of instruments (sometimes only for one in particular [see Steve Reich’s Melodica], and reach dizzying levels of complexity (which is explored/executed by changes in dynamics, subtle shifts in tone, and slight alterations made to arpeggiated chords).
Reich has been composing steadily since his start in the 1960s–his latest release being an arrangement written for winds, strings, piano, and electric bass entitled Pulse.
His music has influenced the work of countless musicians/bands–including King Crimson and Brian Eno (to name a few who have achieved an equal amount of recognition in the world of progressive music). One of his techniques (used extensively by Robert Fripp of King Crimson) is the tape loop.
Interesting Fact: He won the Pulitzer Prize For Music in 2009 for his composition entitled Double Sextet.
Recommended Listening: Music for 18 Musicians