Sonic Exploration at YJs: Falling into the Minimalism Void.

As I sat in YJs the other afternoon, a minimal soundscape floated through the snack bar. I asked a barista friend of mine what was being played. “It’s this Japanese composer, Ryoji Ikeda. These are all micro sounds, subsonic sounds,” he clarified. The music was shifting, weird and oddly soothing. It was new to me and melted my mind. In a CD booklet, Ikeda once said about his approach to sound, “A high frequency sound is used that the listener becomes aware of only upon its disappearance.”

I went through a brief minimal music phase in my life. I love the minimal electronica of Plastikman.

However, I often feel pretentious when the subject of minimalism comes up. It can make for strange conversation, “Sounds you can totally hear are so mainstream. I prefer mostly subsonic sounds. I like my music like the amount in my bank account, micro.” “Does he ever play live? It sounds like he plays on the moon or underwater,” I asked my friend. “It seems like he mostly plays art galleries and really hip places,” he said. “Underwater would be the place to see him. I saw him before he was dry. I saw him before he formed land legs.”

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