Despite always having enjoyed a broad spectrum of music I never found myself wanting to sit and genuinely enjoy classical music. I appreciate the intricacies and the talent that goes into the music but it never gripped me. This could be because generally classical musics’ target demographic seems to be an older generation or it could be the good old Scottish education system grinding down any hope of me enjoying classical music with it’s woeful higher music curriculum, not that I’m bitter in any way. However; not too long ago our good pal Spotify threw a curve ball my way when for once the “New Releases” tab featured Philip Glass’ “Glassworks” album instead of the usual slew of chart albums.
I had heard the name before mentioned in film score conversations and as a pioneer but I had never been compelled to explore until Spotify did all the work for me and dropped it nicely into my lap. I was immediately hooked on Minimalism’s simple, stripped back sound and the repetitive yet still compelling melodies. I was reminded of all the post-rock and math-rock I had dabbled in previously as there was such an emphasis on this sort of simple repetitive nature that gradually built up. It became a sort of gateway drug into more classical sounding music as I explored similar artists using everything from pianos to strings, woodwind and percussion.
I kept with Spotify for this round of exploration as I find it’s “related artists” tab often manages to identify a niche and can locate a group of about a dozen similar artists within that niche. As such it showed me people like Brian Eno and Robin Guthrie simply because they had at one point collaborated with Glass opening up an avenue to the ambient side of Minimalism.