What to listen to, to start with? Preferably 24 bit.
No idea where to get 24 bit.
I'd start however with the classics - Drumming & Music for 18 Musicians. Both of these are key works in the minimalist oeuvre. Music is available in a couple of different versions - two by Steve Reich 1978 for ECM and 1996 for Nonesuch (each has their own charms, the 78 is tighter and dare one say it, funkier, whilst the 96 shows more of the contrasts between the sections) one by Ensemble Modern and one by Ensemble Signals. Drumming is available in a few versions as well the key ones being Reich on Nonesuch and a DG release in the 70's.
From here you can move forward or backward in time. Nonesuch has an interesting CD "Early Works" which has some of his tape phasing work form the 60s. The key works here are Come Out to Play and It's Gonna Rain. This sheds light in his interest in repetition and change which forms the basis of a lot of his work. Later works such as Tehillim and Desert Music focus more on the voice than instrumentation. Both are worth seeking out. Arguably his last masterwork is Different Trains - the Kronos Quartet recording is the one to get here.
There is a great Reich boxset called Phases which is a Nonesuch Collection which contains pretty much most of the above. This would be my first port of call. As an addendum there is a cd called Reich Remixed which is really worth chasing down - this takes some of his works and places them in the hands of (then) top remixers. It is probably the best example of showing the links between Mininalism and DJ culture.
David, no idea about bits, but I would start with Electric Counterpoint (preferably the Metheny version, which is usually coupled with Different Trains, as played by Kronos Qiuartet, on Nonesuch).
Then you could follow up Music for 18 Musicians (Harmonia Mundi) and Drumming (Nonesuch)
If you like those three then you could dig deeper into the catalogue. Other works worth checking out include Clapping Music, City Life, Sextet for Percussion & Keyboards, New York Counterpoint, 2x5 and Eight Lines. His first major work, It's Gonna Rain (1965), is an 18-minute piece which uses tapes and human voices, and is a landmark in late 20th century music and a huge influence on both minimalism and artists such as Throbbing Gristle, Eno, Radiohead and many others.
There's also a good 10-CD box on Nonesuch called Works 1965-1995, and an excellent remix album called Reich Remixed (again on Nonesuch, released in 1999).
I've always wanted to like SR for decades. However I never heard anything that I felt 'did it', that is until I heard 'Radio Rewrite' (Nonesuch, 2014), which has all the Reich hallmarks but is fully accessible! This has left me wanting 'more', whether anythig else will I don"t know but try that one as it is the only one I currently own (CD not 24bit disclaimer).
As well as the excellent recommendations above, try this...
Thank a to all. Will try something at the weekend.
David, are you specifically interested in Reich or looking to get into minimal music? If the latter, I can recommend Phillip Glass' string quartets and other early works and Ten Holt's Canto Ostinato as fascinating works that are more overtly emotional and accessible than much of Reich's work.
No idea where to get 24 bit.
I'd start however with the classics - Drumming & Music for 18 Musicians. Both of these are key works in the minimalist oeuvre. Music is available in a couple of different versions - two by Steve Reich 1978 for ECM and 1996 for Nonesuch (each has their own charms, the 78 is tighter and dare one say it, funkier, whilst the 96 shows more of the contrasts between the sections) one by Ensemble Modern and one by Ensemble Signals.
Music for 18 Musicians by Ensemble Signals can be bought in 24 bits / 44 MHz format with Qobuz. It sound much better than the 1978 ECM version by Steve Reich (a case of average souding ECM record).
Go to a concert but take some earplugs. I went to one in Reading Concert Hall, the instruments were amplified but the amp was clipping horribly to the point of pain.
I first heard his music at The Proms in a programme of Adams, Glass, Reich, Lou Harrison and Zappa (the latter was why I went) from Ensemble Modern conducted by Adams, no pain from this one except possibly when Lou Harrison called for the organist to play with his elbows.
Reich has a list "http://www.stevereich.com/concerts.html"
Steve Reich was on radio 3 last night, see above.
No idea if it's still available ... but there was a Steven Reich recording from LSO on the Bowers and Wilkins Society of Sound subscription (in 24/96) a few months back...
I enjoy a minimalist session once in a while, I've certainly sat thru quite a few at Ojai Music Festival and at LAPHil concerts. Tho numerous musical friends hate his work I can get into the rhythms and changes.
The ECM recordings have just been re-released as a set. All 3 from Quboz in 16 bit CD quality for just £6.47.
Made me take a punt as I like some Glass and other minimalist composers (Part etc)
The Freak Zone on BBC 6 Music had a special show to celebrate Reich's 80th bithday, including a new live performance of "Different Trains": http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07xsmxq