Exams and Minimalism


I have realised that I havent blogged for a while. This is due to a) exams approaching and my concentration being turned to elsewhere, b) I am not sure what you guys would like to read about, as suggestions / comments don’t go very far xD and c) out of pure laziness! Speaking of exams, I am currently very anxious about actually finishing my music GCSE coursework – 11 full schooldays left, and I still need to finish recording both of my compositions, and a solo performance (Butterflies & hurricanes – here we go!) as well as an ensemble piece…In 11 days…. FML >< What makes it worse is that it’s not even my fault – half of our class is continuously being let down by the frequent absences of the piano/guitar teacher on whom we rely to help us with recording our pieces. Except he’s never here. The Herschel music department fails again! Conclusion? Don’t EVER do music here. Ever.

Steve Reich

However, during our penultimate music theory lesson ever, we began studying a minimalist piece called “Electric Counterpoint – 3rd Movement (fast)”. Something about this piece – I am clueless as to what it is! – makes me feel strangely tranquil. I blame the repetitiveness of it! It’s a peculiar feeling, perhaps it’s because I haven’t ever previously acquainted myself with minimalist music. So I decide to hit Steve Reich into Spotify (this in itself meaning that the piece made an impression on me, as our usual set-pieces for GCSE are utter piles of dung) and I find a whole LOAD of his works – where on Earth do I start!? Youtube helped me somewhat with my little research, and led me to listen to “Different Trains” , after which I felt like vomiting. No, seriously. The music itself was strange (but wonderful!) enough, let alone its connotations (which, btw, are to do with the Holocaust and how Reich was happily on a train in America, when at the same time, halfway across Europe, there were kids his age on a train to a concentration camp, like parallel worlds, hence “different trains”! Teehee, I make myself sound so clever 8D). Anyway, I then listened to the 2nd part of the 3-part movement, which is twice as disturbing (difficult to find on Youtube; try Spotify). The music, just.. Wow. Puts you in a fearful trance and makes you want to cry with anxiety, yet you remain transfixed in it because of its trance-like sound. And the whistles of the trains… Idk, I can’t explain it! I was just left feeling even more depressed D:

Don’t get me wrong though, I am glad to have been enlightened to this completely new (and wonderful) to me style of music ^^

P.S: You might not like xD