The inspiration behind “Steve Reich’s Guitar Works”
No matter how many times I play Steve Reich’s music, its uplifting and refined charm always surprises and refreshes me.Having held his music in such high regard for so long, it was natural for me to think of his work when I decided to make my first album as a professional guitarist.Although Reich’s work has been performed and recorded by a great number of artists, it is unusual for it to be played on the electric guitar and I believe this is the first time it has been done in Japan.
Reich’s work, well-known for its intricacy and stylistic beauty, has not only influenced contemporary classical music, but also many other genres such as techno, electronica, post-rock and hip-hop. This album was influenced by the music of those artists as much as that of Reich himself, so I was particularly scrupulous as regards modern tone and sound pressure.
I feel that Reich’s work has a dance music groove, and so when recording, great attention was made to reduce any excess noise made by picking, while special care was also taken not to change the mood of the compositions, so that the original feeling of Reich’s score comes to the surface.
It was a demanding and laborious task which required great patience, but thanks to antennasia’s mix engineer Nerve and mastering engineer KIMKEN, I was able to make an album that matched my ideal.I hope that this release will be one of many new ways to enjoy Steve Reich’s music.
Yasushi Takemura (November 2014)