Next Episode of Tones, Drones and Arpeggios: The Magic of Minimalism is
Tones, Drones and Arpeggios: The Magic of Minimalism is a series in which Charles Hazlewood explores the four great American minimalist composers who rebooted classical music in the 20th century.
In this episode Charles tracks down the pioneers of minimalism, which began on America's west coast in the 1950s. Describing them as 'prophets without honour', he explores La Monte Young's groundbreaking experiments with musical form that included notes held for exceptionally long periods of time, and drones inspired by Eastern classical music and Hindustani singer Pandit Pran Nath. He drives out into the Californian countryside to the ranch of Terry Riley and discusses the musician's revolutionary experiments with tape recording looping and phasing, along with early synthesizer sound. The episode includes excerpts from key early minimalist pieces, including Riley's now famous In C, performed by Charles Hazlewood's All Stars Collective and detailed workshopping by Hazlewood where pieces are deconstructed musically.
In this episode Charles meets the genre's superstars Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Across the 1960s these New Yorkers added new orchestral dimensions to compositions based on repetition, transcendence and new technology, and broke into the mainstream in the following decade. Charles explores how breakthrough techniques Reich first explored on tape were transposed for orchestral performance. Glass's experiments with repetitive structures, along with his innovative work in opera - Einstein on the Beach - revealed new possibilities for classical music. The episode includes excerpts from minimalist pieces, including Reich's Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards performed by the Army of Generals orchestra. Charles Hazlewood's All Stars Collective performs part of Mike Oldfield's minimalist-inspired Tubular Bells.
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