Area of Study 2 - Reich - Electric Counterpoint

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Steve Reich Electric Counterpoint


Electric Counterpoint was composed by Steve Reich. It was written for the famous guitarist Pat Metheny. It was performed first in 1987, as one of 3 movements which follow a typical fast-slow-fast pattern.

Electric Counterpoint is written for live guitar. When performed, the live guitar is accompanied by 7 guitars and 2 bass guitars that have been pre-recorded. The live guitar is amplified to blend in well with the backing tape, but panning is used so it is possible to separate the guitars timbres to a certain extent.


The movement builds up in 3 layers:
1) A syncopated quaver motif which is introduced in the live guitar and the top 4 guitar parts, one part at a time. 
2) A new syncopated quaver motif which is introduced in the bass guitars. 
3) A more sustained motif which is built around 3 chords, it begins


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