Glasgow's Minimal festival lines up work by Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Ingram Marshall

Glasgow's Minimal festival lines up work by Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Ingram Marshall

Festival of minimalism features performances of Eno's Apollo and by Michael Nyman and David McAlmont

Minimalism’s hypnotic pulses and repetitions are heard in everything from krautrock and prog to post-rock and techno. But unlike the ear-splitting, brain-freezing intensity of progenitors such as La Monte Young and Charlemagne Palestine, it was the more accessible work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley that brought the avant garde into the living room. Work from the three is to be performed at Minimal, Glasgow Concert Halls’ weekend-long festival, which serves as launch of a three year celebration of the genre.

In his work as a critic, Michael Nyman (pictured) first used the term with regard to music, and the composer returns to Glasgow here (Sat 16 Oct, 7.30pm) to perform from his popular Peter Greenaway collaborations as well as that with singer David McAlmont, who also appears. Minimal begins a day before, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s presentation of Ingram Marshall’s ‘Orphic Memories’ and the Scottish premier of John Adams’ 2007 work, ‘Son Of Chamber Symphony’. Later that night, pedal steel player BJ Cole and amplified ensemble Icebreaker take on Marshall’s Shutter Island-soundtracking ‘Fog Tropes’ and Brian Eno’s ambient classic Apollo, performed here live to Al Reinert’s NASA documentary For All Mankind (Fri 15 Oct, 10pm).

Also essential is ‘Icarus At The Edge Of Time’, a collaboration between Glass, physicist Brian Greene and video artists AL and AL. Performed first on Sunday at 3pm for children, it’ll later close the weekend in a concert also featuring Reich’s accessible ‘Counterpoints’ pieces (Sun 17 Oct, 4.15pm). Minimalist fare returns in February with a performance of Reich’s mid-1970s work ‘Music For 18 Musicians’.

Glasgow Concert Halls, various venues, Fri 15 Oct to Sun 17 Oct.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra: New Romantics I

Minimalism is the central theme to this concert, conducted by Baldur Brönnimann. The Scottish premiere of John Adams' 'Son of Chamber Symphony' and the European premiere of Ingram Marshall's 'Orphic Memories' are performed alongside works by Charles Ives. 'Part of the Minimal festival.'

Brian Eno's Apollo: This is for all Mankind

The Glasgow Concert Halls begins a three-year exploration of musical minimalism, which has outgrown its roots in urban America to become a pervasive influence on genres ranging from pop to jazz to dance and spiritual music. The Icebreaker ensemble and pedal steel player BJ Cole perform an arrangement of Brian Eno's…

Minimal - Alcatraz

Jim Bengston's beautiful, mournful photos of the infamous prison and Ingram Marshall's evocative minimalist music create an absorbing, mystical portrait of the island, described by Marshall as 'probably the perfect sound print of the desolation and utter finality of the place'.

The Telly Room

The birth of the Minimalism movement coincided with the explosion of mass global media, including the first arts documentaries. Drop into the chill out zone where you can view Scott Hicks' documentary, 'Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts', which offers an unprecedented glimpse into the life and work of the big…

Double Album: Steve Reich and the String Quartet

The Smith Quartet performs three contrasting quartets by Steve Reich. The groundbreaking 'Different Trains' is a musical recreation of the train journeys of Reich's youth, which took place in the years surrounding the Second World War. Reich's tribute to Yehudi Menuhin, 'Duet', is next, and the virtuosic 'Triple Quartet…

Double Album: Philip Glass' Music With Changing Parts

Leading contemporary music ensemble Icebreaker performs Glass' seminal 1973 work, 'Music with Changing Parts', which marked a turning point in the composer's career, bringing him to the attention of the public, critics and artists like Brian Eno and David Bowie. 'Part of the Minimal festival.'

Half an Hour Conversation with Michael Nyman

Well known as a composer, Nyman was also central to the advance of musical minimalism - he was in fact the first to apply the term to music. Here he speaks about his work and sixty years of minimalism. 'Part of the Minimal festival.'

Minimal: Dance

The Smith Quartet performs works from its new album, 'Dance', for which a stellar cast of composers - including Michael Nyman, John Adams and Gabriel Prokofiev - has contributed short dance works. 'Part of the Minimal festival.'

Icarus at the Edge of Time: Family Concert

Physicist and children's author Brian Greene has joined forces with Philip Glass for a fantastical sound and vision extravaganza for children. Join young lad Icarus on a journey through deep space, where he is sucked into a black hole. He makes it back to his spaceship what seems like minutes later, only to discover that…


Music by two of the world's most famous contemporary composers in one concert, with the help of the SCO. Reich's 'Electric Counterpoint' and 'Vermont Counterpoint', for live soloist and tape, are followed by the mesmerising 'Violin Phase'. Finally, Glass' latest work 'Icarus at the Edge of Time', which draws on physicist…

Brian Eno's Apollo: This Is For All Mankind

Brian Eno's rearrangement of his classic experimental album to mark the 40th anniversary of the moon landings is performed live by Icebreaker as a soundtrack to Al Reinert's lunar documentary 'This Is For All Mankind', along with Ingram Marshall's haunting San Francisco-inspired work 'Fog Tropes' as heard on the 'Shutter…


A soundprint of the abandoned island prison created by Ingram Marshall in collaboration with photo artist and documentor Jim Bengston. 'Part of the Minimal festival.'

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