The “Lowercase Music” Genre is Ambient at Its Most Minimal

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Pasadena sound artist Steve Roden, the composer most associated with the subset of minimal ambient music known as “lowercase,” characterizes it as music that “bears a certain sense of quiet and humility; it does not demand attention, it must be discovered. [The] work might imply one thing on the surface but contain other things beneath… it’s the opposite of capital letters—loud things which draw attention to themselves.”

Lowercase’s other (often barely) audible precursors include classical minimalists like Webern and Morton Feldman, John Cage’s experiments with silence, and musique concrète. The genre also often includes elements of ambient field recordings and drones, but all of it is rooted in an attention to liminal detail, inviting the listener to scrutinize every last tiny instrumental event scattered throughout the background buzz. Here are some essential releases to get you started.