What do you think about the idea of “less is more?” In the world of music, less is usually…less, but for a few composers, utilizing minimal material was the key to expanding the way audiences thought about the complexities of western classical music. Hi, I’m Loki Karuna, and on this edition of Noteworthy less will be more, thanks to composer Julius Eastman.

Julius Eastman was born in upstate New York back in 1940. After starting the piano at the relatively late age of 14, he made huge progress, very quickly, and went on to study at one of the most exclusive music schools in the country. After finding his compositional voice, he utilized musical minimalism, or the practice of using limited musical material and repeating it, over and over again. This Julius Eastman composition called “Stay On It” is a great example of his minimalism.

In addition to utilizing this contemporary technique, Julius often fused his compositions with pop music aesthetics, and even social activism. After he died at the early age of 49, his music fell into obscurity, but with the help of researchers and musicologists, Julius Eastman’s legacy was revived, bringing to the world the memory of one of contemporary classical’s most NoteWorthy artists.

Noteworthy is a production of WDAV classical public radio.