Crash Course: Minimal Music, Maximal Impact

Minimalism began as a movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, but it didn’t die–it evolved. And it’s apparent now that it was the beginning of a new musical sensibility whose worldwide ramifications we’ve only begun to figure out. Join us as we sample from a rich catalog of work beginning with the groundbreaking music of composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass up through recent compositions from Michael Gordon and John Luther Adams.

Counterstream OnDemand: Minimal Music, Maximal Impact

Open player in popup window

Kyle Gann, photo by Jorgen Krielen

Photo by Jorgen Krielen

About Your Host
Kyle Gann is a composer and was new-music critic for the Village Voice from 1986 to 2005. Since 1997 he has taught music history and theory at Bard College. He is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow (Cambridge University Press, 1995), American Music in the 20th Century (Schirmer Books, 1997), and Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice (University of California Press, 2006).

Recommended Listening:
Steve Reich: Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ (Deutsche Grammophon)
Ben Harms, Bob Becker, Glen Velez, James Preiss, Janice Jarrett, Jay Clayton, Joan La Barbara, Russ Hartenberger, Steve Chambers, Steve Reich & Tim Ferchen - Reich: Variations, Music for Mallet Instruments & 6 Pianos

Terry Riley: In C (Cantaloupe)
Bang On A Can All-Stars - Terry Riley: In C

Philip Glass: Einstein on the Beach (Sony Bmg Europe)
Michael Riesman & Philip Glass Ensemble - Glass: Einstein On the Beach

Jon Gibson: Two Solo Pieces: Cycles (1973)/Untitled (1974) (Dunya)

Harold Budd: Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror (Astralwerks)

Tom Johnson: An Hour for Piano (Lovely Music)
Frederic Rzewski - Johnson: An Hour for Piano

Eliane Radigue: Trilogie de la Mort (Experimental Intermedium)

Janice Giteck: Om Shanti
Janice Giteck - Home (Revisited)

Daniel Lentz: Wild Turkeys
Daniel Lentz - Wild Turkeys

Elodie Lauten
Waking in New York (4Tay Records)

Michael Gordon: Yo Shakespeare (Argo)

Mikel Rouse: Return
Mikel Rouse - Return

Further Reading:
Gann, Kyle. “Minimal Music, Maximal Impact.” NewMusicBox, 2001.

Gann, Kyle. American Music in the Twentieth Century. Schirmer Books, 1997.

Fink, Robert. Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice. University of California Press, 2005.

Johnson, Tom. The Voice of New Music. Apollohuis, 1991; currently out of print, available for download here.

Potter, Keith. Four Musical Minimalists. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Strickland, Edward. Minimalism: Origins. University of Indiana Press, 1993.

Schwarz, K. Robert. Minimalists. Phaidon Press, 1996.