Steve Reich is a minimalist classical composer who, among very many other things, has experimented with “phasing” in music. Reich’s phasing works typically have two instruments playing the same line of music. One of the two instruments plays slightly faster than the other so that they slowly go out of phase and come back into phase with one another. Here is a performance of Piano Phase

I have been fascinated by this music for many years and return to it time and time again. There is something in my brain that responds very well to the shifting rhythms and patterns that a phasing approach emits. Over the past few weeks I’ve been on a bit of a Steve Reich, William Basinski and Steve Glass binge while working.

Completely unrelated to this, I woke up this morning with the puzzle solving sound from the Zelda games stuck in my head. I have some very definite memories of being unable to solve some puzzle in a Zelda game for hours upon hours, and then when – through blind luck – I figured out what I had to do, the little “Zelda Puzzle” sting would play and I’d feel a real sense of accomplishment. Here is that tune:

So, a few hours later I don’t really know why I made this, but here’s a rendition of the Zelda Puzzle tune in the form of Steve Reich’s Piano Phase, Zelda Phase:

A pixelated Steve Reich
A pixelated Steve Reich



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