Ballroom Dancing

SXSW panels

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by Mary Sledd

SXSW Interview: Steve Reich/Thurston Moore

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 13

Thurston Moore has been the Where's Waldo? of SXSW 08 – label showcases, collaborations, booksignings. So putting him in a room with minimalist composer Steve Reich for an hour felt a little like looking in a petri dish. The pairing couldn't have been more appropriate, though. Moore and his band Sonic Youth have performed Reich compositions, and the elder statesman's musical vision has influenced countless other composers and musicians. For those unfamiliar with Reich's work, it wasn't all wanky tech talk; the interview was more a musical history lesson. Reich talked of growing up in a musical family; his approach to improv, academia, composition, repetition, and feedback; where he got the idea for his 1970s work Pendulum Music (covered by SY for 1999's Goodbye 20th Century); the influence of poet William Carlos Williams and the great John Coltrane. "When John Coltrane left this earth, I stopped listening to jazz," Reich said. He also mentioned the influence of Junior Walker and Motown in terms of repetition. Reich's college friendship with the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh led Moore to ask the inevitable. "Were you ever a hippie?" "No, no," Reich replied. "I was a beatnik. Well, a young beatnik or an elderly hippie."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Leaping Online With 2021 Dates
SXSW Leaping Online With 2021 Dates
Confirms conference, film fest, and Edu

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 22, 2020

ATX Television Festival Goes From Small Screen to Big Screen to Small Screen Again
ATX Television Festival Goes From Small Screen to Big Screen to Small Screen Again
How the celebration of TV is leading the way in streaming fests as it becomes ATX TV ... From the Couch!

Richard Whittaker, June 5, 2020

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

sxsw

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle