I am on my way to becoming a minimalist. Would you ever consider it?

I found the article below intriguing.....

So what is this whole minimalism thing all about? To tell you the truth, it’s quite simple: to be a minimalist you must live with less than 100 things, and you can’t own a car or a home or a television, and you can’t have a career, and you have to be able to live in exotic hard-to-pronounce places all over the world, and you have to start a blog, and you can’t have any children, and you have to be a young white male from a privileged background.

OK, we’re joking. Obviously. But people who dismiss minimalism as some sort of fad usually mention any of the above “restrictions” as to why they could “never be a minimalist.” The truth is that minimalism isn’t about any of those things, but it can help you accomplish many of them if you’d like. If you desire to live with less material possessions or not own a car or a television or to travel all over the world, then minimalism can lend a hand. But that’s not the point.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff. We tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.

There are plenty of successful minimalists who lead appreciably different lives. Our friend Leo Babauta has a family and six children and lives in San Francisco. Joshua Becker has a career he enjoys, a family he loves, and a house and a car in suburbia. Conversely, Colin Wright owns 51 things and travels all over the world, while Tammy Strobel and her husband live in a “tiny house” and are completely car-free in Portland. Even though each of these people are different, they all share two things in common: they are minimalists, and minimalism has allowed them to pursue purpose-driven lives.

But how can these people be so different and yet still be minimalists? That brings us back to our original question: what is minimalism? If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say, Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

Minimalism has helped us:

Eliminate our discontent
Reclaim our time
Live in the moment
Pursue our passions
Discover our missions
Experience real freedom
Create more, consume less
Focus on our health
Grow as individuals
Contribute beyond ourselves
Rid ourselves of excess stuff
Discover purpose in our lives
By incorporating minimalism into our lives, we’ve finally been able to find lasting happiness. And let’s face it: that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? We all want to be happy. Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself. Thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life.

Through our essays we intend to present to you ideas of how to achieve a minimalist lifestyle without adhering to a strict code or an arbitrary set of rules. A word of warning, though: It isn’t easy to take the first steps, but your journey towards minimalism gets much easier—and more rewarding—the farther you go. The first steps often take radical changes in your mindset, actions, and habits. Fret not, we want to help; that’s why we’ve documented our experiences, so you can learn from our failures and successes, applying what we’ve learned to your own situation, assisting you in leading a more meaningful life.

Source: http://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/

Tags: Minimalism

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I don't see how music can be minimalist.

Classical music can be extremely complex and ornate or very minimalist. Compare the opening of Bach's piano concertos with Rachmaninov's 3rd piano concerto.

Normally in a symphony there are at least 5 different lines of music (meaning one group of instruiments follow the same tone and rythm) and the 5 different lines can be quite different. Think of the Scherzo from Beethoven's 9th symphony and pretty much the majority of Baroque music. Minimalist music reduces this to two or three lines and even then...the lines don't differ from one another much...think Schostakovich's 5th symphony (a work written during the horrors of Stalinism which, even though minimalist has subversive messages of protest hidden within. Minimalist doesn't mean slow or simple, it's more the focus on only a few ideas and limited complexity.

In modern music...you can compare Elektra by Strauss which is extremely complex and highly dramatic with Part's 4th symphony. It's pretty clear which one is minimalist.


Like the king said...Amadeus W. Mozart uses "too many notes" I loved that line from the flick.  

Schostakovich's 5th symphony is stunning, I am surprised I liked it so much....it does get a bit monotone and forceful at times.... Debussy, Ravel and Satie manage to orchestrate one or a few parts so skillfully and beautifully... I do not consider them minimalists but some see them as beginning of the style.

I like Bartok's String Quartet #2. Of course, trios, duets, and solos are more minimalist still, but there's so much more a composer can do with a string quartet. 

Personally, I think Bartok is the foremost composer for strings of the 20th Century.

I was lucky enough to see the 5th last Wednesday here by the visiting Orchestra of Porto (Portugal). Not performed very often so we splurged on nice seats...right in the path of the trumpets and trombones. The conductor blasted the hell out of the brass section. My ears hurt and were ringing for a while after...but it was worth it. The horror of Shostakovich...forced to write a grand soviet symphony to purge his denunciation...while being brave enough to add subversive messages inside with a faint hint of hope at the end...is an epic moment of great music and great meaning combined...no?

You don't find Satie minimalist? At least in his famous piano pieces?

I believe Satie was writing soundtracks before film existed. I would call them "ambient" more than minimalist because of the repetitive nature and subtle harmony. I guess he was a minimalist. I still enjoy playing gymnopedie no. 1 or 3 if I find myself at a piano with a few drinks in me. It gets hypnotic. Last time I played him (at a late night party) I was getting marriage proposals.

Hahahahahaha. LOL If the gymnopedies got you proposals...I guess the gnosiennes would get you a harem.


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