Steve Reich

Stephen Michael Reich is an American composer known for his contribution to the development of minimal music in the mid to late 1960s. Reich's work is marked by its use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm, canons, his innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns, as on the early compositions It's Gonna Rain and Come Out, the use of simple, audible processes, as on Pendulum Music and Four Organs. The 1978 recording Music for 18 Musicians would help entrench minimalism as a movement. Reich's work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably Different Trains. Reich's style of composition has influenced many contemporary composers and groups in the US. Writing in The Guardian, music critic Andrew Clements suggested that Reich is one of "a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history". Reich was born in New York City to the Broadway lyricist June Leonard Reich.

When he was one year old, his parents divorced, Reich divided his time between New York and California. He is the half-brother of writer Jonathan Carroll, he was given piano lessons as a child and describes growing up with the "middle-class favorites", having no exposure to music written before 1750 or after 1900. At the age of 14 he began to study music in earnest, after hearing music from the Baroque period and earlier, as well as music of the 20th century. Reich studied drums with Roland Kohloff. While attending Cornell University, he minored in music and graduated in 1957 with a B. A. in Philosophy. Reich's B. A. thesis was on Ludwig Wittgenstein. For a year following graduation, Reich studied composition with Hall Overton before he enrolled at Juilliard to work with William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti. Subsequently, he attended Mills College in Oakland, where he studied with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud and earned a master's degree in composition. At Mills, Reich composed Melodica for melodica and tape, which appeared in 1986 on the three-LP release Music from Mills.

Reich worked with the San Francisco Tape Music Center along with Pauline Oliveros, Ramon Sender, Morton Subotnick, Phil Lesh and Terry Riley. He was involved with the premiere of Riley's In C and suggested the use of the eighth note pulse, now standard in performance of the piece. Reich's early forays into composition involved experimentation with twelve-tone composition, but he found the rhythmic aspects of the number twelve more interesting than the pitch aspects. Reich composed film soundtracks for Plastic Haircut, Oh Dem Watermelons, Thick Pucker, three films by Robert Nelson; the soundtrack of Plastic Haircut, composed in 1963, was a short tape collage Reich's first. The Watermelons soundtrack used two 19th-century minstrel tunes as its basis, used repeated phrasing together in a large five-part canon; the music for Thick Pucker arose from street recordings Reich made walking around San Francisco with Nelson, who filmed in black and white 16mm. This film no longer survives. A fourth film from 1965, about 25 minutes long and tentatively entitled "Thick Pucker II", was assembled by Nelson from outtakes of that shoot and more of the raw audio Reich had recorded.

Nelson never showed it. Reich was influenced by fellow minimalist Terry Riley, whose work In C combines simple musical patterns, offset in time, to create a shifting, cohesive whole. Reich adopted this approach to compose his first major work, It's Gonna Rain. Composed in 1965, the piece used a fragment of a sermon about the end of the world given by a black Pentecostal street-preacher known as Brother Walter. Reich built on his early tape work, transferring the last three words of the fragment, "it's gonna rain!", to multiple tape loops which move out of phase with one another. The 13-minute Come Out uses manipulated recordings of a single spoken line given by Daniel Hamm, one of the falsely accused Harlem Six, injured by police; the survivor, beaten, punctured a bruise on his own body to convince police about his beating. The spoken line includes the phrase "to let the bruise’s blood come out to show them." Reich rerecorded the fragment "come out to show them" on two channels, which are played in unison.

They slip out of sync. The two voices split into four, looped continuously eight, continues splitting until the actual words are unintelligible, leaving the listener with only the speech's rhythmic and tonal patterns. Melodica applies it to instrumental music. Steve Reich took a simple melody, which he played on a melodica recorded it, he sets the melody to two separate channels, moves them out of phase, creating an intricate interlocking melody. This piece is similar to Come Out in rhythmic structure, are an example of how one rhythmic process can be realized in different sounds to create two different pieces of music. Reich was inspired to compose this piece from a dream he had on May 22, 1966, put the piece together in one day. Melodica was the last piece Reich composed for tape, he considers it his transition from tape music to instrumental music. Reich's first attempt at translating this phasing technique from recorded tape to live performance was the 1967 Piano Phase, for two pianos. In Piano Phase the pe

Intercession Monastery (Moscow)

Intercession Monastery is a Russian Orthodox convent situated in Moscow, in the neighbourhood of Taganka. It was named after the Intercession of the Theotokos; the monastery has been known since 1635 and long remained a poor monastic abode outside the city proper, neighbouring a large cemetery for commoners. It was a filial monastery of the Zaikonospassky Monastery between 1680 and 1731. Much of the monastery is Neoclassical in design and dates from the early 19th century; the five-domed katholikon was erected in the mid-1850s to Mikhail Bykovsky's Byzantine Revival designs. It is dedicated to the Renewal of the Temple of the Resurrection in Jerusalem; the Soviets had some of the walls torn down. The monastery was revived in 1994 as a stauropegic nunnery, it derives much of its popularity and income from the relics of St. Matrona of Moscow, a popular saint. Official website

Saint Frances Cabrini School (Brooklyn)

Saint Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy in Brooklyn, New York is a small Catholic elementary and middle school. The grades go from pre-K through the eighth grade; the school is associated with the National Catholic Educational Association In 1919 Reverend Monsignor Ottavio Silvestre bought the land where the parish St. Joseph Patron and the school now stand. There was nothing there at the time. In 1921 he started to build the church St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church and the school. By September of that same year students started to attend the school; the school was named after the parish. Everything was completed in 1922. Silvestre stayed there for 50 years. Many of the items in the church were brought over from Italy; the neighborhood around the school and church was Italian. Neighboring areas were German; the school was active for many years. Six hundred students were enrolled. There were two classes for each grade. Classes were needed in the afternoon to deal with the many students. In 1975 the Dioceses of Brooklyn faced a problem.

The dioceses decided to create a cluster. St. Barbara's and St. Leonard's were two neighboring schools that were closed, their students were brought over to St. Joseph's; the school was renamed St. Frances Cabrini after Patron of Immigrants, she was born in Italy and became the first American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. The school's name has now been changed to St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy In each class the number of students ranges from 25 to 30, the biggest at 36; the teacher to student ratio is 1:27. The neighborhood is Hispanic so most of the students, around 90 percent are Hispanic. Most of the remaining student body consists of African Asian, or Caucasian students. However, there are at least one-two people in all classes that come from races not white, African, or Hispanic. In the seventh and eighth grades, students monitor the pre-K to the sixth grade students, helping teachers out at breakfast and recess. With this program students gain a sense of leadership.

An after-school program is offered five days a week, through 6 p.m.. The program offers more after school homework and athletics. Other extra-curricular activities include: Yearbook Committee, Mary's Club, Altar Servers and Choir. Official website