UMS Playlist: A Touch of Minimalism
This post is a part of a series of playlists curated by artists, UMS Staff, and community. Check out more music here.
Dawn of Midi perform at Trinosophes in Detroit on January 31, 2015. Photo by Falkwyn de Goyeneche.
Minimalism can be extraordinarily beautiful. I’ve always been a believer of “less is more.” In the right hands, repetition, simplicity, and homogeneous textures of sound can envelop the listener in deeply meaningful and even spiritual ways.
In the playlist below, I’ve attempted to offer a sampling of minimalist techniques in a cross-section of genre and style, from pioneering tape experiments by Steve Reich (“It’s Gonna Rain,” ca. 1965) to minimalist 1990s electronica from the UK’s Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) and the Manchester duo Autechre (selected from their seminal 1995 LP Tri Repetae) to Dawn of Midi, a group with a mesmerizing, “electro-acoustic” sound that will perform at Trinosophes on January 31, 2015.
I have also included some surprises: Jason Moran and The Bandwagon’s cover of American-born innovator Conlon Nancarrow (who composed “Study No. 6” for player piano) and downtown New York experimental post-disco songwriter, cellist, and composer Arthur Russell (who died in 1992 at the age of 40 in relative obscurity).
This playlist represents merely a snapshot of some of my favorite minimalist moments. Hopefully it will encourage and inspire a deeper personal journey of discovery.
Please note: These fascinating (and intricate) soundscapes are best experienced on headphones.
What did you think about this playlist? Share your thoughts or song suggestions in the comments below.