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Innovation in instrumentation: analysis of the works It's gonna rain and 2x5 of Steve Reich

Grant number: 19/21881-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Principal researcher:Silvio Ferraz Mello Filho
Grantee:Lucia Nogueira Esteves
Home Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The project aims to analyses of works It's Gonna Rain, Tape Music, and 2x5, for five instrumentalists (two electric-guitars, one electric-bass, one piano and one drum) and tape, or for ten instrumentalists (with twice the instrumentation), both of the American composer Steve Reich (1936). The research started with PIBIC scholarship (2017/2018), focusing in the history of Tape Music and the composer's participation in this history. Now we seek a better comprehension of the pieces and compositional concepts of the author and the minimalism, with focus on the analysis of works from distant periods, but which have similar elements in the composition. We pay attention to the creation of phase shift (characteristic of many of his works, when overlapping musical motifs are lagged and transformed without changes in pitch and timbre), to the beat and the non-western music influence. The study of sound experiences conducted by the composer is essential for this project, which aims at understanding the instrumentation in the mentioned works. They also participate in the creation of compositional concepts of Steve Reich, and the recognition of instrumentation not common in the classical repertoire. Therefore, we consider the relevance of instrumentation in the analysis of the innovation potential of this works for its time. The research proposed in this project finds its justification initially in the need to produce and make available one more bibliography, in Portuguese, on the minimalism and on the work of composer Steve Reich. Specifically, with the analysis of It's Gonna Rain and 2x5, it will also contribute to the production of a text focusing on composition with instrumentation still considered atypical for the of time its production, recognizing technological innovation as an extremely important element for the 20st and 21st Century music production. From this, by studying a procedure of using finished and self-sufficient Works, we have the starting point of a new composition. This is the main goal of this research. With the realization of this project, its hoped to enrich the researcher's training, as a composer, in the fields of creation and musical analysis of works of the second half of the 20st Century, to enable a grasp of the influence of non-western music - present in Steve Reich Works - assisting in the rhythmic understanding. We also analyze the use of this instrumentation as well of the new means for the musical creation. In addition, Steve Reich's work influences current music, then the importance of studying this character and his compositional techniques in the formation process a composition student. (AU)

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