A Minimalist Approach to Music

28 May 2012

Sometimes simplicity takes a lot of work.

I have been working off and on for some time now, as the inspiration strikes me, on a new Misdreamt CD.

As much as love to listen to and create complicated music, with lots of odd time signatures and dense arrangements, I am trying something different this time around. It’s always a challenge to find a new way to represent your essential voice, to create music that sounds like my music yet not sounding like anything I’ve done before.

This time, I am taking a more minimalist approach, but this doesn’t mean I’m trying to evoke the music of such luminaries as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, and La Monte Young.

This music will on the surface seem to be very repetitive, composed mainly of guitar and drums, but enough listens will hopefully reveal that there is an intricacy especially in the connection between the various parts.

What I mean by minimalism in this context is I am avoiding overdubs and excessive multi-tracking, and allowing the parts to develop over time without any particular regard for timing. A single part will be given as much room to breathe as possible, instead of crowding it in with other parts. In theory, this CD should be able to be recorded on a four-track….

I’ve long been an advocate of creating music as a form of diary keeping. If you’re really making music for your own reasons, and not answering to any one else’s sensibilities or expectations, the music will be a reflection of who you are at that point in time. (One’s personality and psyche should be coherent enough to have a certain constancy to it, but still leave enough room for self-directed evolution in the parts that are not as permanent as they at first appear).

So, since I’m in a place now where I’m trying to do as much as I can with as little as I actually need, I certainly hope that music that emerges from this time period will reflect that as well.

Music should take as much effort to truly understand as the person behind it. I don’t care that much for shallow music on either end of the headphones.