The first time I was exposed to minimalist music was in ninth grade with Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, and even then, prior to any formal music theory or education aside from piano lessons, it immediately resonated with me.
The appeal of it stems from how much it can mine from a singular and focused vocabulary set. One harmonic idea, one rhythmic motive, one melodic gesture that provides the basis for the entire listening experience by inviting the listener to push away distractions of a world that celebrates instant gratification and fast-paced changes in favor of slowing down and drawing out a savored moment. With a lifestyle that is about constant consumption and ever-changing production, minimalism gives me a mental meditative shelter that I find nowhere else.
Although I wouldn’t classify all of my compositional output as being minimalist, the concept is always somewhere in the back of my mind and continually influences my work’s output, meaning the listening experience that I’m trying to create. But earlier today, as I was contemplating the direction of a project that I’ve picked up off of my unfinished-project shelf, it occurred to me how at odds that can to my work’s input.
Let me take a step back.