Selected by: Elisabeth Stimpert (Clarinets)
Program: All Steve Reich Concert (November 16, 2013)
Music inspiration: Steve Reich's City Life
On seeing this photograph, I was immediately reminded of the striking fourth movement of Steve Reich's City Life, in which the sounds of boats, buoys, and a human heartbeat are woven with the sounds of strings and winds to create an eerie and unsettling sonic experience. John Baldessari puts the artist's viewpoint directly into the picture, selecting a smaller portion of the cityscape and focusing our attention on the boat itself. In City Life, Reich uses the gritty everyday sounds of life in New York City (car horns, air brakes, subway chimes, door slams, a pile driver, voices, alarms, and sirens) to create the fabric of the work.