here in the UK the BBC is screening a series on minimalism - and of course in the first programme only one female composer was mentioned - Pauline Oliveros - so here are just a few who contributed massively to the formation of new musical languages inc. minimalism and electronic music + a couple of links to works by male composers that significantly pre-date the 'invention' of minimalist music according to the BBC programme. It is of course only a small selection - there is much, much more to explore:
(nb. Scott also composed a piece for silent radio band in the 1930's, the live performance of which stunned listeners and the studio technicians alike, causing equipment malfunction panic as the band were instructed to perform as if playing from behind the glass screen to isolate them from the other participants in the programme. As far as I have been able to find out it was not performed again but the piece was known to Cage before he composed 4:33)
ahead of episode 2 of 'tones, drones and arpeggios' series on minimalism, which, again fails to cover key female composers & artists, I thought i'd follow up my earlier post with some more women either omitted, that have been influenced by some of the themes of the form or who perhaps illustrate that whilst the boys were busy being famous others were expanding music in often more interesting ways (sorry boys !)
(nb. this isn't an ideal recording of this piece as there is a lot of distracting noise in the room, however it is hard to find much of Bunita's music online. For those who know her name in another connection that is, in itself, an interesting example of composers influencing each other yet one being lauded and the other largely ignored - and worse according to Bunita)
part 4 of my response to the BBC's minimalism series, or as it's coverage in said series has been niftily described in Jennifer Allen's article for The Quietus 'menimilism'. In this post I am venturing beyond the most obvious linked work, partly including some pieces that I remembered whilst searching for suitable clips by other artists and some that again, in my opinion, show how much more interesting and expansive some composers and artists not featured in the BBC series were. I've also included some examples of the developments in jazz and art-music that were part of the sound-world the minimalist composers existed in.
(there is no doubt that jazz had a significant influence on the early 'minimalist' composers and of course at that time it was another form where male musicians got top billing, however it is my opinion that with a close listen to Mary Lou Williams, especially this relatively famous piece from 1945, one can hear a particular use of fo…