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Playtime: Steve Reich and Julius Eastman

18. January 2023 @ 19:30 - 21:00


Mit «Music for 18 Musicians» von Steve Reich und «Gay Guerilla» von Julius Eastman präsentieren wir zwei Meilensteine des US-amerikanischen Minimalismus.

With Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich and Gay Guerilla by Julius Eastman we are proud to present two milestones of the US-american minimalism. American minimalist (or repetitive) music has nowadays reached a very wide audience, inspired numerous popular artists and infiltrated our everyday sound surroundings from films to adverts to supermarkets. But it is important to remember that in the 1970s this music was a radical act, one of defiance against the European intelligentsia while at the same time creating a new voice for American artists.

Music for 18 Musicians is perhaps Steve Reich’s best-known, if not most important work. The piece went around the world in the form of a recording after its premiere in 1976. Listening to it live is a special experience: you can observe how the musicians interact with each other or switch from one instrument to another to bring about changes in texture over the course of just under an hour. Music for 18 Musicians thus becomes a kind of visual and auditory ceremony that unfolds in the repetition of melodies, in harmonic progressions, in lush sounds and in layered time structures.

“What I desire is to be to the fullest what I am, to the fullest black, to the fullest musician, to the fullest homosexual” postulated Julius Eastman in the 1970s. A statement that could not be more topical, for it is thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement that this important composer is being (re)discovered. With his additive, slowly transforming repetitions, Eastman has a clear connection to the minimalist canon. He uses repetition to integrate free improvisation as well as elements from pop culture into his pieces. Gay Guerrilla is one of Eastman’s many provocative work titles. The performance of the work is immediately accompanied by the task of communicating justice, equality and unity – together, on stage, in the audience, consciously and with open ears and eyes.

Music for 18 musicians (ca. 50 Minuten)

HKB Ensemble VERTIGO: Viviane Ruof, violin / Christopher Mui, cello / Elnar Kozhakhmetov, Raimond Starostin, clarinet and bass clarinet / Alice Paroissen, Julia Beriger, Livia Lockridge, Lara Morger, voice / Alberto Anhaus, Justin Auer, Mathieu Casareale, Joao Calado, Samuel Cueni, Brian Archinal, percussion / Audrey Mützenberg, Ekaterina Karpova, Francisco Fernandes, Antoine Françoise, piano / Micaela Haslam, coaching / Maxime Le Saux, sound

Gay Guerilla (ca. 30 Minuten)

Lilia Artemova, Enzo Gafner, Ekaterina Karpova, Linda Türler, Francisco Fernandes, Audrey Mützenberg, Mateusz Tomica, Wilhem Latchoumia, piano

Drinks at the bar after the concert



Yehudi Menuhin Forum
Helvetiaplatz 6
Bern, Bern 3005 Schweiz
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HKB – Hochschule der Künste Bern