Archive for the “Conferences” Category

Kansas City at Night

If good luck in travel is a harbinger of things to come, then the fact that my flight into Kansas City for the Second International Conference on Minimalist Music actually touched down twenty minutes early is surely a very good sign.  And so far today things have worked out that way.

The conference got underway with two papers on Intertextuality in the music of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and British composer (and the first journalist to use the word “minimalist” to describe music) Michael Nyman.  Apparently Nyman steals liberally from everybody, including himself.  I mean that in only the best possible way–Nyman seems to deeply interested in the artistic possibilities that such borrowing and referencing, and he even once had a microfilm reader in his house next to his piano to enhance his ability to quickly look for material to work with.  After a short break we then had three papers on the music of Phill Niblock, whose microtonal drone music is strange, fascinating, and beautiful.

After dinner, and after an on-stage conversation with Kyle Gann, Mikel Rouse presented his 2000 film Funding at the Kansas City Public Library.  The film is a fascinating non-narrative (or perhaps extremely-limited-narrative) exploration of New York City, money, and identity, underscored by Rouse’s post-minimalist, rhythmically complex music.  Rouse has clips of some of his films, including Funding, on his website, so I’ll just direct you there, since I need to get some sleep so I’ll be fresh for day two, which starts at 9AM tomorrow with a paper on Steve Reich.

Also, remember that some of the conference participants are Twittering about the conference with the hashtag #minconf.

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Here’s your heads-up that the Second International Conference on Minimalism is fast approaching! It runs Sept. 2-6 and Kansas City gets the honors this time out.

Papers and presentations abound, as do a string of wonderful concerts. Of course there’s talk on Glass, Reich and Adams; but also Phill Niblock, Julius Eastman, La Monte Young, Tom Johnson, Mikel Rouse, Dennis Johnson and more. Concerts not only include one by prodigal legend Charlemagne Palestine, but a closing that puts none other than our old pal Kyle Gann at the keyboard with Sarah Cahill! (I’m sure Kyle’s practicing and sweating bullets at this very moment…)  S21’s own resident minimalist, Galen Brown, is giving a spiel on Saturday, and hopes to post here throughout the shindig.

So head to the website for all the info and updates, then book early & book often. The first week in September the ol’ K.C. is the place to be!

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