American composer Steve Reich turned 75 this week. The so-called "minimalist" credits jazz, African drumming and Balinese gamelan for inspiring his signature style. His music, from experimental tape loops to the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Double Sextet," has inspired the generations of composers who followed.
In the early 1960s, when Reich was beginning his composition career, the contemporary classical music scene was dominated by atonal music like the works of Pierre Boulez.
"It fell to my generation to basically say, 'Basta! Enough!' " Reich says.
On Labor Day weekend a bustling sea of music fans in their late teens and early 20s were stuffed onto a grassy, open field in New York. One of them stood out, dancing in a sweat-drenched black T-shirt that read, "Sex, drugs and dubstep."
From the outset of the Syrian uprising last spring, Syria's president, Bashar Assad, offered promises of reform. Activists, meanwhile, documented abuses by his security forces, including video footage of shootings against unarmed protesters.
Now, the Assad government appears to be relying exclusively on brutal repression, giving free reign to the security services to crush the revolt, according to analysts inside and outside the country.
On-Air Challenge: Identify the objects described in a series of riddles from A New Collection of Riddles by Jesse Cochran.
Last Week's ChallengeFrom Listener Sandy Weisz:Name something that is part of a group of 12. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that is part of a group of nine. What are these things?
Answer: "Cancer" is one of the 12 astrological signs, and "Dancer" is one of Santa Claus' nine reindeer, including Rudolph.
If you're going to make a film about cutthroat competition, you can make it about baseball or football or robot boxing, or you can be really brave and make it about high-end birdwatching.
That's the topic of The Big Year, which opens this weekend and stars Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black as three men competing to see the most bird species in a year. They call that a "big year" in birding circles, in case you don't travel in them typically.