Friday, April 9, 2010

On Minimalism

You know, I've always had a bit of a thing for minimalism. I've never been interested in fully embracing it, but often find myself a bit envious of those who do. I really believe in the less is more notion as a principal for life and reading books like "In Pursuit of Elegance" remind me that this is a worth while cause.

On Tuesday, I returned to William Ferris Chorale to begin rehearsal for our next concert which will be Baltic composers. The highlight of the concert for me will the Berliner Messe by Arvo Part. It is a stunning beautiful, minimal work that uses so few notes so extremely well. Although this piece is hardly new, it seems fresh and now and necessary. I'm quite excited by it.

Which brings me to last night, when I was privileged enough to join Jessica on a trip to hear The XX at Lincoln Hall. Now, The XX (or the xx) are no Arvo Part as they are just 19 year old kids who are dressing up in black and playing rock music because they think it is cool... But! I do think they're on to something. They are, at the core, minimalists and the music they are making is lacking in the extra stuff that clouds most popular music. Further, they manage to maintain strong enough content to sustain interest, sexiness and even emotional resonance.

It works. For my money, it is very now and refreshing in light of all the other over the top stuff that is dominating pop and indie rock. Plus, they had a sweet light show.

Just to drive this point home, one of my colleagues just came into my office and pointed out my apple keyboard. It looks like this:

He asked me if I missed the number pad, to which my response is... why do I need additional numbers on the keyboard. There are already numbers. The content is there.

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