Steve Reich’s Drumming

I saw Drumming last night, and just felt I needed to write afterwards. So here’s some quick notes I jotted down immediately after the concert.

Three layers of sound: the individual patterns of each player, often almost impossible to distinguish among all the activity; the patterns that emerge from the interaction between players, which are in a constant state of flux; finally, the sheen, overtone, shimmer, wash of sound as the sound waves interact and form an almost solid wall. 

Like a river: first layer the individual droplets of water, the next the currents, and the final the entire flow of the river.

Or like a tapestry: first layer the fibers/threads, as you zoom out further you see blocks of shapeless color, and step back all the way and you see the whole picture. 

The changes in patterns are easy to miss as they happen, yet suddenly you notice a difference and it feels seismic. 

Though the glockenspiel part felt a bit long as a result of the high frequencies, the blur of sound waves was interesting, as if (to return to the tapestry simile), the dye had bled forming blobs of color rather than distinct pictures.


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