This chapter presents Reich's thoughts about Octet, which was premiered on June 21, 1979, by members of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble under the direction of Reinbert de Leeuw at Radio Frankfurt. Octet grows out of musical material for two pianos, and four hands that was suggested by the two-piano writing in Music for a Large Ensemble. This two-piano writing is the most difficult Reich has written for individual performers, and basically transfers the interlocking rhythmic complexities he had previously discovered with multiples of marimbas and xylophones to two pianos. Octet also reflects his ongoing interest in traditional Western acoustical instruments.
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