Part employs a masterfully pared down style of composition based to varying degrees on the structure of mediaeval Gregorian chants. He has developed his own style he terms "tintinnabuli" built on seductive repetitive sections that join to create a haunting harmonious whole. The sound of his compositions can only be described as "ethereal" and evoke a deep sense of beautifully sad longing. The way he pulls so much emotional colour out of so little (it appears), is to me nothing short of amazing. In the case of Parts' music we can truly say "less is more" for he manages to extract such pearls from such reduced means. Every note is held to account, every pause crucial so the final overall effect is a sublime tapestry of sound that mesmerises and soothes the mind.
It is no accident that Arvo Part has been the most played/acclaimed composer worldwide for the last three years. People everywhere are hungry for peace of mind and emotional inspiration and this music is like healing balm to desperate souls.
Listening to Arvo Parts music can transport one to a place of deep contemplation, a state of transcendence where earthly cares fade and a little peace can be found.
The unified sound that the composer is able to draw from his musicians is inspiring to me and not unlike each attempt i make when composing a new painting. Patience is required by the listener in order to disconnect from the incessant churning of the noisy world in the same way extended attention and effort is required to "look at" an artwork. Parts' music opens a space where the listener participant can withdraw from earthly cares for a time and find emotional refreshment. This is not unlike the state that an artist enters into when absorbed in the act of making. The process of painting with sound is closely akin to painting with pigmented materials.
There is a range of You Tube videos available of Arvo Parts' music and i encourage you to take time and become acquainted with this exquisitely sensitive virtuoso of introspection.