This post includes an audio version. If you prefer that you can listen here or on the JAL Audioblog Podcast
This month I wanted to do something different. I have been doing Mixtapes for eight months, so it is time for a shift. May was a bit hard for me, and I didn’t have much time to discover new material; during a hard time, I needed music to relax me and help me see things from perspective. So I went back to my beloved minimalism.
I did discover minimalism back in 1993. Then I was living in a student flat in Vilanova i la Geltrú. A flatmate was constantly listening to the amazing Philip Glass “Satyagraha”. We did listen to it so many times that nowadays, I get transported to that moment in time while listening. That “small” music with so much content and repetition make me relax and breathe. I recommend you try it.
So, this month is about minimalism, but do not worry; I have made an easy entry playlist with just six short tunes. You will see that there is no may comment on every song, and that is because I keep it minimal, like the music.
“Remembering George” by Isle’r
Did I tell you that I love the cello? This one is a fantastic example of minimalism with bass instruments. It looks like a new artist because I can not find a thing about him on the web. The album is from 2021, and it is just beautiful.
“Connect” by Steven Gutheinz
I enjoy those tunes that are often repeated the same notes, but they sound different, creating a rich melody. This one is an example of precisely that. It is so trivial that you will be able to sing it in no time. I enjoy the music from Gutheinz, and this one, in particular, is a beauty.
“Ethereal” by Dirk Maassen
On the same line but darker is this solo piano tune. It repeats several times but adds new details and changes the order of things on every loop. It is as raw as it can get, and the melody is so powerful that it needs nothing more to make you think.
“Wehmut” by Roman Nagel
A few notes changed on every meter is enough to make a powerful song. It doesn’t change for real until the song’s middle, but it doesn’t move far from its origins. From there is goest evolving to new material but keeping the essence.
“The Poets Act” by Glass and Riesman
I included this one because the rest are mostly piano, and it is a bit more involved with more strings and the typical Glass feeling. Notice how the principal theme repeats in different forms along with the music.
“Études: No.6” by Philip Glass, played by Vikungur Ólafsson
This Étude is by far my favourite. It is a typical Glass composition. When I think of minimalism, this is what comes to my mind. It is just a piano very well played. Listen to how it evolves over the same melody over and over. I think I like math rock because it has some similitudes to this genre of music. Both are mathematical in their inception.
I would like so much to be able to play this song.
And that is all for April.
Get this mixtape on:
See you next months!