(#14 on Laney’s List)
Minimalism is not for everyone. But before you decide, you have to try meeting it on its own terms. It’s aiming at a different kind of musical experience, one that’s less linear, more about sitting in the moment.
Instead of the musical structure we’re used to — straight lines moving forward in measured time — minimalism tends to establish an atmosphere or pattern, let it dance a while, then slowly evolve. If you let yourself sit in each pattern without waiting impatiently for Next and Next, there’s a whole different kind of pleasure there. And when the change does come, it can be exquisite. You experience both the stasis and the change in a new way.
I gave you some zero-entry Reich with the short clip from Sextet. This is a bigger bite, but also (I think) a bigger reward. Three continuous movements, 15 minutes of solo electric guitar with recorded overdubs. I love the stasis, but I mmmmLOVE the transitions, so I’ve given those timings below.
I. Fast (0:12-7:02)
Three sections of nearly identical length (~2:20). Listen for the transitions at 2:20 and 4:40.
II. Slow (7:02-10:24)
Two slow and lovely sections of ~1:40 each, transition at 8:45.
III. Fast (10:24-15:00)
This one is more of a single continuously developing idea. I adore it, especially from 11:06 on. The guitarist Mats Bergström clearly agrees — check out the slightly NSFW moves at 12:48.
14. REICH Electric Counterpoint (15:00)
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOAS6ik796s” parameters=”start=10″ /]
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