Nicolas Bougaïeff: A History Of Musical Minimalism From 1890 To 1990 (Insight Seminar)

Tracing the history of musical minimalism in Western music begins with the music of Erik Satie around 1890. From that starting point, the ideas and aesthetics of musical minimalism can be seen to evolve over a century, leading to the ubiquity of repetition in techno from the 1990s onwards.

Minimalism refers to a broad range of techniques which may involve any or all of the following: audible repetition, a static and floating sense of time, a reduction in the quantity of musical materials, a sparseness of form, and a general aura of simplicity.

Western minimal music, including nearly every musician covered in the 1890 to 1990 period, is deeply indebted to musical traditions beyond the realm of Western music, and in particular: Javanese Gamelan, West African drumming, and North Indian classical music. The implications of these non-Western structures are quite profound, as they often reflect and reinforce their own way to conceive time and perceive the world.

Nicolas holds a degree in Electroacoustic Composition from the Montreal Music Conservatory and has submitted a thesis for a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Huddersfield.