Kerry O'Brien & William Robin: On Minimalism
A revisionist history of minimalism's transformative rise, through the voices of the musicians who created it.
When composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich began creating hypnotically repetitive music in the 1960s, it upended the world of American composition. But minimalism was more than a classical phenomenon—minimalism changed everything. Its static harmonies and groovy pulses swept through the broader avant-garde landscape, informing the work of Yoko Ono and Brian Eno, John and Alice Coltrane, Pauline Oliveros and Julius Eastman, and many others.
On Minimalism moves from the style's beginnings in psychedelic counterculture through its present-day influences on ambient jazz, doom metal, and electronic music. The editors look beyond the major figures to highlight crucial and diverse voices—especially women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ musicians—that have shaped the genre. Featuring more than a hundred rare historical sources, On Minimalism curates this history anew, documenting one of the most important musical movements of our time.