In the '60s and '70s, minimalist composers used such devices as repetitive arpeggios, diatonic scales, phased rhythmic patterns, and constrained dynamic ranges to bring "serious" music into the public sphere with greater success than nearly any other 20th century classical or avant-garde development. Post-minimalism began circa 1980 and built upon the foundation laid down by minimalism's first practitioners. The new post-minimalist composers and performers were arguably open to even more influences than their forebears -- including rock, jazz, world music, folk, sound art, noise, and even the occasional classical Romantic gesture. Of course, minimalists Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and LaMonte Young were greatly influenced by non-Western musical traditions, but the post-minimalists would go further to loosen -- or, some might say, water down -- minimalism's formal strictures.
Music writer and composer Kyle Gann cites several major composers in a first wave of post-minimalism as the '70s ended and the '80s began -- William Duckworth, Janice Giteck, Daniel Lentz, Ingram Marshall, and Jonathan Kramer -- and Gann also mentions the influences they drew from as they moved beyond minimalism, ranging from Messiaen to Balinese music to U.S. patriotic tunes. On the rock side of the equation, Gann includes leaders on the cutting edge of the New York no wave scene such as Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham in his description of post-minimalism. Others who may be familiar to avant jazz and rock audiences include Mikal Rouse, David Borden, and Guy Klucevsek. Composer John Adams was initially viewed as a minimalist but went on to meld the rhythmic propulsion of minimalism with Romantic elements and Stravinsky-informed neo-classicism. Composers associated with the New York-based Bang on a Can -- notably David Lang, Julia Wolf, Michael Gordon, and Evan Ziporyn -- also remain enamored of minimalist approaches yet clearly feel free to explore a host of other contemporary music influences from world music to electronica.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Dutch composer Louis Andriessen is seen as a major figure in European minimalism, while also establishing a reputation in the post-minimalist world. Andriessen, who has described his music as "avant-garde minimal music that also dealt with jazz from the twenties," has worked closely with the British new music ensemble Icebreaker, a group that often moves in post-minimalist directions. Sicilian cellist Giovanni Sollima has also been labeled as a post-minimalist, using repeating arpeggios and ostinati while incorporating rock and jazz influences as well as Mediterranean folk forms. Continuing the post-minimalist thread, Sollima has collaborated with the French/Belgian ensemble Art Zoyd, whose earliest semi-acoustic incarnation might be considered an influence on the Flemish drummerless avant-prog chamber group Aranis, a 21st century band that brings post-minimalist flexibility to music with occasional strong Philip Glass-like tendencies.