Minimal Impact

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Episodes

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01Tailfins And Burgers2015060920160218 (R4)

The story of the musical aesthetic and the ubiquitous technique of minimalism.

It's now fifty years since the west coast American composer Terry Riley wrote In C, a work that consisted of 53 short musical phrases repeated at will. For New Yorker Steve Reich, this offered a new kind of musical expression for a post-war society of 'tailfins, Chuck Berry and millions of burgers sold'. With origins as much in the art world and the pop music industry as in the experimental musical philosophy of John Cage, 'minimalism' slowly but incontrovertibly assumed a dominant position in the musical landscape.

In this American-inflected first episode, composers from three generations - Steve Reich himself, Julia Wolfe of Bang on a Can and Bryce Dessner, a composer and guitarist with The National - consider the impact of the minimalist aesthetic and the techniques it employed in the USA and abroad, revealing a 'victory for the art school over the music conservatoire'.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

01Tailfins And Burgers20150609
01Tailfins And Burgers20150609

01Tailfins And Burgers20150609

The story of the musical aesthetic and the ubiquitous technique of minimalism.

It's now fifty years since the west coast American composer Terry Riley wrote In C, a work that consisted of 53 short musical phrases repeated at will. For New Yorker Steve Reich, this offered a new kind of musical expression for a post-war society of 'tailfins, Chuck Berry and millions of burgers sold'. With origins as much in the art world and the pop music industry as in the experimental musical philosophy of John Cage, 'minimalism' slowly but incontrovertibly assumed a dominant position in the musical landscape.

In this American-inflected first episode, composers from three generations - Steve Reich himself, Julia Wolfe of Bang on a Can and Bryce Dessner, a composer and guitarist with The National - consider the impact of the minimalist aesthetic and the techniques it employed in the USA and abroad, revealing a 'victory for the art school over the music conservatoire'.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

02Jesus' Blood And Fluffy Clouds20150616
02Jesus' Blood and Fluffy Clouds20150616

02Jesus' Blood and Fluffy Clouds20150616

02Jesus' Blood And Fluffy Clouds2015061620160219 (R4)

The story of the musical aesthetic and the ubiquitous technique of minimalism.

Fifty years since the emergence of a challenging new 'art school' attitude to musical composition emerged in the United States - in the work of Terry Riley, Steve Reich and others - various techniques associated with 'minimalism' have been absorbed into every aspect of modern musical life, from the pop industry and dance scene, to film scores and religious music, as well as contemporary concert music.

In this second episode, British composers trace how the minimalist aesthetic has informed music as diverse as John Tavener's Song for Athene and The Orb's Little Fluffy Clouds. Contributors include Gavin Bryars, composer of the iconic Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, film and dance composer Jocelyn Pook, Indian percussion player and composer Talvin Singh, Alex Paterson of The Orb and the most minimal of English composers Laurence Crane.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

02Jesus' Blood And Fluffy Clouds20150616

The story of the musical aesthetic and the ubiquitous technique of minimalism.

Fifty years since the emergence of a challenging new 'art school' attitude to musical composition emerged in the United States - in the work of Terry Riley, Steve Reich and others - various techniques associated with 'minimalism' have been absorbed into every aspect of modern musical life, from the pop industry and dance scene, to film scores and religious music, as well as contemporary concert music.

In this second episode, British composers trace how the minimalist aesthetic has informed music as diverse as John Tavener's Song for Athene and The Orb's Little Fluffy Clouds. Contributors include Gavin Bryars, composer of the iconic Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, film and dance composer Jocelyn Pook, Indian percussion player and composer Talvin Singh, Alex Paterson of The Orb and the most minimal of English composers Laurence Crane.

Produced by Alan Hall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.