3:30 am was when the phone rang. Nobody answered. 4:00 am, the alarm went off. I woke up, gave a call back, did a few other calls, went to the bathroom, brush my teeth, took the backpack, set out. 5:12 am was when the train was supposed to arrive. Was it on time? I don’t remember. When we reached in Bakkhali it was around 9 O’Clock in the morning. The beach was almost empty like most of the time.
Minimalism has always been a thing for me. From a piece of music to a mediocre sea with a wide beach with no or few people, it has been something I’ve always found myself in love with. I have been asked a lot of times why do I love to be in a place or spend my money for a place that has no impregnate beauty whatsoever! Not that I have been able to quench their thirst for a legitimate answer because minimalism itself is a complex and abstract subject. A couple of days ago I had been reading an article on Pitchfork about the Oneohtrix Point Never‘s album Replica and it read “As good as advertisements are at getting our attention, we are often even better at ignoring them. Like the banner ad on your favorite website that you’ve seen a hundred times but never really registered, never mind clicked. Or the billboards you walk by every day that don’t make it past your peripheral, and the TV ads that soundtrack nothing but your Twitter scrolling. Though these blasts of capitalism aim to stun, they often recede into the ether. But they’re still there, making a soft impression. In this way, advertising might be the most pervasive ambient art form of our time.” And I came to realize that some things out there subconsciously recount minimalism. Representing ones minimal aspects can be called minimalism in some ways. Not that all the ambient art and music out there are minimal but most of them are especially when they are drone. So, minus the art form, what exactly is minimalism? It’s a way to find happiness in little things or as the Theminimalists states “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.” But there’s nothing wrong with owning materials in possession as it doesn’t stop anyone from being a minimalist in a capitalist world.
In the field of art, minimalism is often interpreted as a reaction against abstract expressionism. But it isn’t as uncompromising as it sounds to be honest. Have you watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? It’s a pretty tough skinned movie with scores from Jon Brion. Despite its complex plot we have loved it. Now, let’s take Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as an example of abstract expressionism. Do you remember the scene where Joel called Clementine for the first time and the score in the background? If you listen to that track Phone call on a loop you may find yourself visualizing the scene on the loop as well. This is where the complexity goes away. No fights, no misunderstandings, nothing but newly found love and affection towards eternity. Something minimalism has to offer.
I’ve always found myself sitting on a slope in the afternoon in Bakkhali when heartlessly beholding the ebb tide and the deceased sea with only one or two people in far distance and in sight as well as in existence at that moment. In the heavy breeze you can hear them talk, one person at a time, clearly, even if they are almost out of your sight. They always look so small and helpless beside the deceased sea and gray beach as the sun starts setting. And when it’s entirely dark you can hear it in the breeze, as if the Water Sprite from Selma Lagerlöf‘s short story The Musician has come to life, playing the primordial polkas one after another. And when it’s full moon and the high tide hits, you can see them, the forest and the ocean olympians start being visible and dance to the minimal masterpieces, to the water, sands, trees, earth, to the songs of nature.