Gradual Processes

Listening to an extremely gradual musical process opens my ears to it, but it always extends farther than I can hear, and that makes it interesting to listen to the musical process again. That area of every gradual (completely controlled) musical process, where one hears the details of the sound moving out away from intentions, occuring for their own acoustic reasons, is it. I begin to perceive these minute details when I can sustain close attention and a gradual process invites my sustained attention. By “gradual” I mean extremely gradual; a process happening so slowly and gradually that listening to it resembles watching a minute hand on a watch–you can perceive it moving after you stay with it a little while.

Steve Reich, Composer, in his manifesto “Music as a Gradual Process”, 1968