I was never into the music of Steve Reich until I attended a concert by Nexus, where they brilliantly performed his Dance Patterns and Mallet Quartet. I always knew Reich was one of the most important living composers, and as I continually mull over the future of concert and composed music, I realized what his music meant to me. Reich taught me that the future doesn't lie with a firm separation between "elitist" modern classical and "banal" pop music, and now I see today that the divide between these two worlds is slowly collapsing, for better or for worse.
My belief is that the central differentiation of these two genres lies in musical notation: Art music will continue to use notation while pop music will continue to do without it. Likewise, art music cannot exist without notation, since that world has always relied on it: it's been a pinnacle and a pride of Western art music since the Middle Ages.
If this grows to be the case, we're in for a new experience of lots of cool music from a variety of backgrounds, but we're also positioned in a time of incredible instability, especially for concert musicians and composers.
Here's some great minimalist music I've been listening to!
Etude for three mirrors, for chamber ensemble (1982). Laszlo Melis
9 Through 99, No. 20c, for alto sax, tenor sax, violin, cello, marimba, vibes and piano (2003/2005) Peter Adriaansz.
Bubblegum Grass/Peppermint Field, for string quartet and gamelan elektrika (2011) Ang
Tyler Versluis is a composer and pianist.