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