Minimalism at Bard

More about the recently-ended Other Minds festival soon, but first it is rather urgent to announce that my music department is hosting a colloquium on minimalist music this Saturday and Sunday, March 12 and 13. Eight scholars from Great Britain and America will convene to give papers, and the purpose is to initiate the process of putting together the Ashgate Companion to Minimalist Music, scheduled for publication in 2013. The papers will be presented as follows:

  • Saturday, March 12:
  • 10:00               Keith Potter, “Precursors: Mapping early Minimalism”
  • 11:00               Pwyll Ap Sion, “Reference and Quotation in Minimalist and Post-Minimal music”
  • 1:00                 Rebecca Eaton, “Minimalism/Post-Minimalism and Multimedia: Film, Television and Video”
  • 2:00                 Kyle Gann, “Postminimalism” (most minimalist title I could come up with)
  • 3:00                 David McIntire, “Totalism” (I’ve been a big influence on David’s titling style)
  • Sunday, March 13:
  • 10:00               John Pymm, “Minimalism and Narrativity”
  • 11:00               Jonathan Bernard, “Minimalism and/versus Pop: Some questions (and maybe some answers)”
  • 1:00                 David Dies, “Defining Spiritual Minimalism”

These papers represent almost half the book; we’ll be meeting with the European authors at the University of Wolverhampton in England, April 8-10. This one at Bard is a rather informal gathering, intended primarily for the scholars invited, but it is open to the public, and we’d be glad for anyone interested to attend. I am greatly indebted to my department chair James Bagwell and our dean Michéle Dominy for making the event possible. The location is Room 211 in Blum music building at Bard College. E-mail me for directions if you’re interested. 

However, one component of the event is completely public, and that will be David First’s concert on Saturday, March 12, in that same room at 6 PM. David is going to present some of his minimalist drone/slow-glissando music. Guitarists, of whom there are thousands at Bard, will be particularly interested, but David is someone who has not only kept a minimalist aesthetic alive into the 21st century, but made it dramatic, thrilling, and completely accessible, paradoxically while holding on to its most austere premises. I’m looking forward to giving all these minimalist scholars a big dose of his hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck-raising out-of-tuneness. So please feel free to join us. We give these smaller colloquia in off-years in-between the International Conferences on Minimalist Music, and the atmosphere at our gigs is positively effervescent. It’s not your grandfather’s musicology.


  1. says

    Any public performances or events planned at the Wolverhampton University meeting?

    I live 20 minutes away from there.

    Best of luck with these events and publication

    KG replies: I’ll try to find out.

  2. says

    The timing of this thing is, for me, most unfortunate, and I almost certainly can’t make either day. Sadness. Please give everybody my best–I’ll be thinking of you all. Only once, but I’ll hold that single thought for an hour and a half. Maybe get Bill Morrison to make a film out of degraded footage of people missing out on cool things in 1920. Complain a bit about how all the good funding is only available for missing out on conferences about serialism. Get compared to the Nazis by Elliott Carter. You know, do it up right :)

    Looking forward to the book, too.

  3. says

    I so wish I could attend this as it’s right up my alley and research interests (which I do have, even if I don’t actually WRITE about them and just TEACH about them. God bless academia!). Alas, the timing’s all off, but I’ll have to get the book when it comes out and add it to my minimalism class readings.