“Early Works” is a compilation album that contains the early works by Steve Reich, an American composer known as one of the pioneers of minimal music.
Recorded in 1986–1987 except two tape music pieces. Released in 1987 by Nonesuch Records.
The album contains four pieces composed by the technique of “gradual phase shifting process”.
“It’s Gonna Rain” (1965) and “Come Out” (1966) are experimental musical compositions for magnetic tape with recorded voices as sources. They deal with gradually shifting phases of two or more repeating patterns.
“It’s Gonna Rain” uses a preach by Pentecostal preacher Brother Walter and background sounds, including the sound of a pigeon taking flight, as material sources.
“Come Out” uses the voice “I had to, like, open the bruise up, and let some of the bruise blood come out to show them” by a 19-year-old boy Daniel Hamm, who was involved in the Harlem riot of 1964, as a material source.
“Piano Phase” (1967) is a piece for two pianos. It is one of his first attempts at applying his “gradual phase shifting process” technique to live performance. The keyboard duo Double Edge, Nurit Tilles and Edmund Niemann played the piano.
“Clapping Music” (1972) is a piece only for two musicians clapping without instruments. It deals with rhythm variation by shifting beats.