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The album cover for MINIMAL VELOCITY is 3D art of a doorway with rounded steps going up to it. The artwork is by Rodion Kutsaiev

Minimal Velocity – minimalist mesmerizing music

Minimal Velocity – This is my 90th release since I started recording music. Thanks for being someone who listens!

Typically, when I compose music, the sky is the limit. I don’t set limited time or instruments. But this time, I did.

Minimal Strategy

I started by deciding I could only use five (or less) instruments on each song. Usually, I keep building more instruments until I have to strip a few away. This time, the challenge of minimizing was to start with few and stay there.

Additionally, each song had to be completed in one day. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean 24 hours. It means however many hours I had to work in the recording studio on that particular day which can often be fewer than 3 hours.

In the end, six of the tracks had only four instruments, but the rest had five. My temptation was always to add “just one more”. Yet somehow, I kept myself limited.

Preaching To The Choir

Minimalist music has been around since 1958. While I would not categorize most of the instrumental pieces on Minimal Velocity as minimalist, I would say that they come closer than most of my compositions and songs.

Minimalism typically means that the melody or melodies are limited in range and rhythm and often couple this with slow repetitions. The instrumentation is often full from start to finish, tempos or changes may be slow, and layering may involve the same chords or patterns moving between instruments.

Minimalism Met

Where these pieces match minimalism is with slow tempos and limited rhythm. What’s more striking is how Minimal Velocity does not match that musical style. See if you agree.

My melodies tend to be intricate and changing over time — even if there is a refrain or other repeated element. Instrumentation tends to shift throughout pieces including building and then dropping instruments. Each instrument also tends to have its own part rather than mimicking patterns from other instruments.

I’m surprised how much I managed to defy the limited palate I gave myself. You tell me what you hear, please! I still hear thick arrangements with plenty of motion (in spite of slow tempos). I look forward to hearing from you.

3 thoughts on “Minimal Velocity – minimalist mesmerizing music”

  1. Congrats on your 90th, Stan, what an accomplishment.
    It’s very meditative, some hints of the soundscapes prof-rock bands used by Yes, King Crimsom, and others. Keep it up. Cheers

    1. Wesley,
      (Somehow your comment went into the spam catcher in spite of all of your approved comments. Glad I caught it.)
      Thanks for listening! I was thinking of some progressive rockers as I created this album, so I’m not surprised you heard that influence.
      All the best,

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