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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

One more thing about 'minimalism': it can effectively accompany another art form

By John Terauds on August 2, 2013

Howard Skempton (Kate Vandyke photo).
Howard Skempton (Kate Vandyke photo).

For many people, visual stuff gets in the way of enjoying, say, a Beethoven piano sonata. Conversely, the spareness of some minimal of pattern music serves as a fine invitation to other forms of expression.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

I was reminded of the simple beauty of British composer Howard Skempton‘s creations last night at the Minimalist Dream House Project, when Marielle Labèque played some excerpts from his Images, a work from 1989.

Images was written as an accompaniment to TV documentary celebrating the history of photography, not as a standalone suite. This puts the music in a different perspective that in no way diminishes its impact.

Skempton offers a crystal-clear view of how simple note patterns and rhythms can be delicately varied with interesting results.

Here is an example of another collaboration between musical and visual media, in this case Skempton and visual artist Alexander Gorlizki, for an arts festival in Poland. The pianist is John Tilbury in Miniatures — 9 Intermezzos for Television:

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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