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Composer Shiva Feshareki selects her favourite minimalist compositions

June 2016

Ahead of this weekend's DEEP∞MINIMALISM festival and her world premiere performance of Daphne Oram’s Still Point, Shiva Feshareki has made us a playlist of her favourite minimalist compositions

Eliane Radigue “Kyema” (1998)

“Kyema” is a great piece to listen to while in the mindset of meditation. When I listen to this hour-long piece from start to finish, I feel like I have gained new insight into myself and the world I exist in. Pure, ego-less music.

Daphne Oram and Ivor Walsworth “Passacaglia” (1958)

I love this piece composed by Daphne Oram and Ivor Walsworth. A simple ground-bass gives the cement for the dream-like trebles that wash above. Very familiar and nostalgic music, realised using unfamiliar sounds, especially for the era.

James Tenney “Spectral Cannon For Conlon Nancarrow” (1974)

This piece was written for the player-piano, which was constructed by Conlon Nancarrow in the early 20th Century. The player-piano is probably the first ever computer-based technology. You are taken on a real journey in this piece, to a place that feels beautifully free and human, yet composed for a self-playing machine.

James Tenney “For Ann (Rising)” (1969)

James Tenney collaborated with experimental psychologist Ben Shephard to create this auditory illusion, which is now common practise in electronic music. On the surface level, it is an unnerving piece, yet for me it is like a love story: the ascending pattern can feel strongly uplifting. If Tenney wanted to be dark, he would have constructed a descending pattern.

Pauline Oliveros “The Horse Sings From The Cloud” (1982)

Beautifully mindful music on accordion and voice by Oliveros.

Pauline Oliveros “Bye Bye Butterfly” (1967)

An iconic piece of electronic music by Pauline Oliveros, who has displayed so many different sides to her work over her lifetime so far.

Daphne Oram “Four Aspects” (1968)

Constant shifting of perspective within this piece: opens your mind to new ways of thinking about the same idea.

Galina Ustvolskaya “Composition No 2” (1972/3)

No-nonsense music by Ustvolskaya. Absolutely relentless music that sounds deeply Russian. Simple ideas, maximum effect.

Else Marie Pade “Syv Cirkler” (1958)

This piece is a real trip. I love feeling the sonic movement of the shapes. Mind-bending.

This weekend’s Southbank Deep Minimalism will take place at London St John’s Smith Square, featuring works by composers Eliane Radigue, Daphne Oram, Pauline Oliveros and Galina Ulstvoskaya, and others.

Shiva Feshareki will be performing the world premiere of Daphne Oram's Still Point (1949) with London Contemporary Orchestra at St John’s Smith Square on Friday 24 June. More information and tickets are available from Southbank's website.

Comments

"This piece was written for the player-piano, which was constructed by Conlon Nancarrow in the early 20th Century. The player-piano is probably the first ever computer-based technology. You are taken on a real journey in this piece, to a place that feels beautifully free and human, yet composed for a self-playing machine."

The Jacquard Weaving Loom is probably the real first ever computer-based technology.

But the Tenney piece is still amazing!

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