What is minimalism?
What Does minimalism Mean
The minimalism is an artistic movement that uses only minimal and basic elements . By extension, in everyday language, minimalism is associated with everything that has been reduced to the essential and that does not present any excess or accessory element .
For example: "I would like to implement minimalism in the decoration of my home" , "The Swedish artist is one of the greatest references of minimalism in contemporary painting" , "I do not like minimalism, I prefer baroque ornamentation and full of details ” .
The intention of minimalism, therefore, is to generate meaning from the minimum. This requires simplifying the elements used, appealing to simple language, pure colors and simple lines.
The English philosopher Richard Wollheim ( 1923 - 2003 ) is pointed out as the person in charge of coining the concept of minimalism, in reference to the works of the North American Ad Reinhardt and the French Marcel Duchamp .
Experts argue that, as an artistic trend, minimalism emerged in the 1960s from an economy of means, the use of abstraction , functional and structural purism, austerity, and synthesis .
Painters and sculptors were the first to turn to minimalism, such as Reinhardt , Donald Judd , Dan Flavin and Robert Mangold . Minimalism later extended architecture (the movement De Stijl ) and music, among other areas.
Minimalism is also reflected in a philosophy or way of life that proposes dedicating oneself to what is important and discarding everything unnecessary as a way to achieve personal fulfillment.
Minimalism in music
Minimalist music is known as a genre that originated in North America in the 60s, classified as experimental, which is based on the use of constant pulses, slow transformations, consonant harmony, static elements and generally uses little repeating musical phrases.
Despite the interest it aroused in many American composers, only four of them achieved notoriety through musical minimalism: Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and La Monte Young. Among the European musicians who produced relevant minimalist creations are Yann Tiersen, Louis Andriessen, Steve Martland and Wim Mertens.
The design of minimalist music recognizes some common typologies, according to the North American professor and composer Kyle Eugene Gann, which are exposed below:
* Static harmony : refers to the tendency not to change the chord, or to the retrograde or direct movement within a group of chords;
* repeated brief motifs : undoubtedly the most characteristic feature of minimalism in music. Some examples are Tony Conrad's violin improvisations and Young's sinusoidal tone ;
* static rhythm : usually motorized, although sometimes simply reduced to a moderate repertoire of time durations;
* static instrumentation : more than one instrument sounds at the same time, executing the same melody, unlike a writing where all the lines complement each other and form a drawing impossible to represent if any of them are missing;
* Metamusic: this term refers to certain details that have not been planned and that grow or that are amplified, as if it were a collateral effect. This can be seen in some works by Octet and Reich Drumming;
* Oriental elements : in compositions by Glass, Young and Riley, for example, a notable influence of music from India can be found, while in Reich's creations elements typical of African music are perceived;
* purity of the song : the essence of the song is distilled, it does not hide details and many times a lexical meaning is not appreciated. Instead, the rhythm and repetition of motifs stand out.