Minimalism Unbounded! The Fifth International Conference on Minimalist Music. September 23-27, 2015

Organised by the University of Turku and the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki
At this conference we will encourage new debates about the sounds and cultural meanings of minimalist music.
Usually associated with the North American style propagated since the 1960s by composers like Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley and La Monte Young, the influence of minimalism on musical life and cross-arts practices extends beyond these now canonical figures and arguably also predates them. This conference will continue to direct focused attention towards the core repertory, but will also encourage work which challenges our assumptions about the boundaries of the style and its significance.
Minimalism Unbounded! will focus above all on the relevance of the minimalist style in the 21st century. The influence of minimalism is especially evident in music performed in multimodal and cross-artistic settings, including film, musical theatre, sound, installation and performance art. It has disseminated and transformed beyond its reductive origins in the musical avant-garde and is today heard in diverse settings, some of them recognisably postminimalist, informed by environmental concerns, inspired by spiritual or mystical ideas, and permeating popular styles and forms including film scores, ambient and drone music, glitch and IDM.
We welcome musicologists and composers, cultural theorists and philosophers, inter-arts researchers and music theorists with a view to stimulating lively debate about the past and current state of the art in minimalist music and cognate artistic practices.
We especially welcome work which
- extends our understanding of minimalism as a sonic, social and cultural practice in the 21st century
- offers new perspectives on the core minimalist repertory
- opens new pathways to understanding minimalism as a musical and cross-arts phenomenon, especially how the style has migrated between genres, media and forms
- offers new perspectives on the different traditions and influences on the style, including precursors of minimalism
- sheds new light on minimalism in the Nordic region
- discusses examples of postminimalism which have taken the style in new directions, including drone music and music that draws on alternative tuning systems
- addresses the rich terrain of intersections of minimalism with popular music and culture, ranging from pop art to IDM.
Keynote speakers
Guest composer
Programme Committee
John Richardson (Chair)
Susanna Välimäki (Vice-Chair, University of Turku)
Juhani Nuorvala (Vice-Chair, Sibelius Academy)
Petri Kuljuntausta
Meri Kytö
Tanja Tiekso
John Pymm
Pwyll ap Sion
The conference fee includes participation in the conference, lunch and other refreshments, the conference programme, a book of abstracts and other relevant material, transportation between Turku and Helsinki, and admission to concerts.

Register at our Registration website
Conference participation fee:
members of the Society for Minimalist Music: 120€
delegates who are not members of the Society for Minimalist Music: 150€
students (not including food and refreshments): 20€
conference dinner (not included in the registration fee): 40€ 
price for one day: 80€

Late registration (after September 1st) will incur a late registration fee of an additional 20€.  A late registration fee is not included to the student price or price for day.​

Registration will end at September 11.​

Minimalism Unbounded! will be a dynamic academic and cultural event staged in two cities, Turku and Helsinki. It will include performances of recent and older music, workshops for composers, public talks and debates, and high-level academic presentations and discussions.

The first two days of the conference will take place at the University of Turku, situated in the beautiful city of Turku on the country’s south west coast, a major cultural centre and the former capital of Finland; the final two days will take place at the Sibelius Academy, in Helsinki’s state of the art Music Centre. Travel between the two locations is included in the conference fee (the journey takes approx. 2 hrs).

The conference is organised jointly by the Department of Musicology at the University of Turku and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. It is supported by the Society for Minimalist Music  and the International Institute for Popular Culture at the University of Turku.

Contact email: minimalism(at)​​​​​​​

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