(Three Tales, Steve Reich (Música). Beryl Korot (Vídeo).)
A Theater of Ideas
Steve Reich and Beryl Korot on Three Tales
iinterviewed by David Allenby, 2002
How did the idea for Three Tales first come about?
SR When The Cave premiered in 1993 its first commissioner, Dr Klaus Peter Kehr of the Vienna Festival, asked if we’d ever thought about doing a piece about the twentieth century. One of the things that came to mind very quickly was that the twentieth century had been more driven by technology than almost any other human endeavor. This wouldn’t create a music theater piece in itself – we needed some events, some signposts from the early, middle and late parts of the century that would be emblematic of the period and its technology.
Hindenburg came to mind rather rapidly. It signaled the end of a failed technology when the airship exploded and crashed in New Jersey in 1937. It was also the first major disaster captured on film. The image of an enormous hydrogen filled zeppelin, with huge swastikas on its tail fins, flying over Manhattan and bursting into flames in New Jersey just before World War II, was unforgettable.
The atom bomb was in many ways the emblematic technology of the century. For the first time we’d created a technology with which we could destroy the planet. Hiroshima and Nagasaki seemed overly well documented. We settled instead on the tests at Bikini, which were between ‘46 and ’52, signaling the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War. It brought together the most ultra-sophisticated hi-tech known to man at that time and some of the least technological human life on the face of the Earth – the Bikini people of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.