Category: minimalism

Minimalism: a process phase

In Steve Reich’s phase phase, the process is the product. When something happens, it’s new information to our brains. But when it happens 100 times exactly the same, it’s redundant. Our brains stop seeing the individual bits and are invited to see the gradual transformation of the bits. All music has this to greater or... Read more »

Culture War: Process is the Message

A really smart guy once said “the medium is the message.”  I’ve never been able to fully wrap my mind around how totalitarian that sounds but have come to understand it as: “don’t forget, the medium communicates more than you think.”  In light of recent debates, I’d like to proffer another one: “the process is... Read more »

Review: CSO, Bates, Hubbard

I was lured to the Chicago Symphony Thursday to see Mason Bates’ “Music from Underground Spaces”.  The rest of the program was filled up–that is not to say “rounded out”–by pieces from the 1910s by Ravel and De Falla, making the program neither homogenous nor heterogenous.  The odd program was reflected in the audience; not... Read more »
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Gateway: Arvo Pärt

Whenever I introduce myself as a “composer”, there are only a few logical follow-up questions. “What kind of music do you write?” OR “How does that work exactly? How do you make money?” Despite the difficulty of self-definition (and limitation), I much prefer the former question. That is, however, until I realize that most people... Read more »