Hardcore American minimalism from 1968-1970, including Reich’s seminal Four Organs, performed by Danny Holt, Mike Robbins and 18-Squared.
Minimalist music is in the air in Los Angeles this spring, and one concert not to miss includes hardcore early American minimalist masterpieces by Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Performed by Danny Holt and 18-squared, these works remind audiences of the radical, cutting-edge beginnings of this seminal movement of late 20th century American music.
The concert features three early works by minimalist icons Philip Glass and Steve Reich, performed in a warehouse/gallery setting akin to the independent performance spaces where this music was born in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Danny Holt will perform Two Pages (1968) by Philip Glass, then join members of 18-squared to perform Glass’ Music in Similar Motion (1969) and Steve Reich’s seminal Four Organs (1970). The 1970 premiere of Four Organs caused a riot that rivaled the infamous riot at the 1913 premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. But, like Stravinsky’s masterpiece, Reich’s work is now considered a modern masterpiece. The concert presented by Danny Holt and 18-squared aims to remind today’s audiences of the visceral intensity of these early minimalist works.
182 (18-squared) is a Los Angeles-based new music collective specializing in the music of Steve Reich. Formed in 2001 by artistic director Mike Robbins, the group began as a student ensemble at CalArts and has grown to include CalArts alumni and other artists from the Los Angeles area. Members of 182 have worked with Reich and members of his ensemble, Steve Reich and Musicians, as well as other prominent new music ensembles such as Bang on a Can All-Stars, California EAR Unit, Robin Cox Ensemble, and Alarm Will Sound.
The ensemble performs many Reich “classics” including Music for 18 Musicians; Drumming; Four Organs; Sextet; Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Electric Organ; Music for a Large Ensemble; Piano Phase, and Marimba Phase. 182 has been featured at GLOW Festival in Santa Monica, the Grand Avenue Festival, REDCAT (in Walt Disney Concert Hall), the iconic Velaslavasay Panorama theater, the L.A. Filmmakers Cooperative, and numerous festivals at CalArts. Taking an active role in education and community outreach, the group has performed and given master classes at California State University Long Beach, Chapman University, Ventura College, Pierce College, California State Summer School for the Arts and the Academy of Creative Education, among others.
Pianist and percussionist Danny Holt has been called “the classical music equivalent of an extreme sports athlete” (The Record) and is known as a champion of adventurous contemporary music. Gramophone called his Fast Jump CD “a compelling showcase for Holt’s innate virtuosity and gregarious temperament” and Cadence Magazine wrote that his CD of Music by Mark Dresser (with pianist Philip Skaller) was “like John Cage on some mind-altering substance”. In Los Angeles, Holt is often seen on the Jacaranda concert series, on stage at REDCAT, and in performance with his piano duo 4handsLA (with Steven Vanhauwaert).