Destroy: Songs From Liquid Days was probably the worst. Maybe I should just make it anything since the mid-70s.
I'm going to say classic for the early work despite his obvious faults. He was able to create a unique sound-world and approach to minimalism that was influential - probably more on pop than on the avant-garde actually. The mix of organ and reed timbres is appealing. The simple additive rhythmic patterns actually created interesting effects in a drone context. His collaborations with Ravi Shankar and pop stars were just appalling though.
― sundar subramanian, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
Destroy: Powanaquatsi (the film as a whole... the soundtrack is, eh, decent).
Search: His quartets.
Destroy: Solo piano works.
― Sterling Clover, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
you're combining it with reich's "music for eighteen musicians"
― Gage-o, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Jeff W, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Curt, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
Hm, I didn't know Willis was at Juillard back in the day. But I know
what you mean. I have a ton of stuff by Glass, back when I was way
into him, but I don't find myself listening to it all that much,
except for Low Symphony, Glassworks, Koyaanisqatsi, and Music for 12
Musicians. The first three probably being more of his accessible
― Todd Burns, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― michael, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
I noticed the mistake in the earlier post, too, then made it myself.
Long day featuring Bio Midterm can be the blame for that one.
― philT, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Clarke B., Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― A Nairn, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
Search: Glassworks, Dancepieces, North Star, Thin Blue Line,
remix of Aphex Twin's "Icct Hedral", his appearance with Mark Moore
and Paul Morley on The Late Show in 1989.
Destroy: 1000 Airplanes On The Roof (unlike North Star
this remains unredeemed in the neglected parental-home vinyl
collection), Powaqqatsi (strangely distressing to hear chunks
of this in The Truman Show) and all the other film work, 1990
― Michael Jones, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Mr noodles, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Andy M., Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― John Barrow, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― mark s, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Andrew L, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― sundar subramanian, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― ethan, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― geeta, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Mr. Barrow, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Todd Burns, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― helenfordsdale, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
also you are fun to read, which it has been
proved enlarges the reader's brain even
when they actually want it ensmallened like
"...f______ paragraph breaks..."? Tossing naughty language hither
thither isn't very nice. For shame. Besides, I read a phonebook the
other day, and it didn't have very many paragraph breaks.
Yes, Mister Rogers is an actual composer, among other good things,
but whether or not HE'S a classic or a dud isn't really the issue at
hand (classic). This question answering and exploring forum is
supposedly about Glass in particular, and it just seemed to me that
the thickness of his praise was making the criticism lean towards the
thin, so I thought I'd make a few critical observations on behalf of
those of us who may believe that he's not overly remarkable. Now I
realize that I may be going out on a limb with such an edgy thesis,
but what's life without risk? Meaningless and not very fun to boot,
that's what. Sure, I could be waxing poetic on the subject of erotic
scrimshaw, and I often do, but that would be all too easy. As a
music lover and fighter, what I really had a hankerin' for was a
knock-down drag-out no-holds-barred Glass-tussle. So thank you very
much and may the debate rage on (or, as the case may be, drone
monotonously on and on and on not unlike Glass's music) ad
― j.b., Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Sterling Clover, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― ethan, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
It would be an improvement, but only in the relative sense.
― Ned Raggett, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
"...stuck-up kids in highschool..."? The poeple who are the quickest
to accuse others of being arrogant are truly a dull and predictable
lot. And again, nothing to do with Glass. Although their are some
people who have not unreasonably observed that Glass's work tends to
be dull and predictable.
But anyway, the "you're stuck-up" finger pointing people's anti-
intellectual attitude and antics, um, how shall I put it, "belie"
their thin veneer of sophistication. Very thin. My guess is that
they tend to be 'Glass = classic' people more often than not, and, on
the whole are well educated in the well-certified and degreed sense
yet possessing only nominal measurable native intelligence. Near-do-
wells... Why else would such people immediately and aggressively
take the mere mention of the concept of intelligence so personally.
Their insecurity is painfully obvious.
Now there's an intriguing question. Is the music of Philip Glass
anti-intellectual in some way? Could be. It does seem to be
pretending to be intelligent, even though there are good reasons to
suspect that it isn't particularly. But than again, the folks who
make it painfully obvious that they are too emotional to engage in
reasonable discourse yet really REALLY want to pretend to be oh so
sophisticated would likely avoid that idea like bubonic plague.
Huh? What was the question? I CAN'T HEAR YOU. And the next
question is... It smells like religion. "Don't you be questionin'
MY God, you evil heathen..." Highly predictable indeed, and maybe
even a tad anti-intellectual.
And how could such a potentially interesting discussion be so
lacking? Perhaps there are too many little ponds with big fish and
too few big ponds with little fish. Oh well, maybe the situation
Why does glass need to be "intellectual" to be good? Can't he just make me happy, or calm, or produce things which are relaxing while I'm reading or working? What if he produced things that were good for screwing to? Wouldn't that be classic? Or what if he produced things that were great when you had something else to do/look at, ambient for operas? Because, in a way, he does. Cf. Einstein On The Beach & Au Revoir... (which I saw in the first run, and d-d-damn!)
― mark s, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Christine "Green Leafy Dragon" Indigo, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
I find some of his works to be quite pleasant. I would agree that
much of his material from the mid-seventies through the early
eighties has merit -- especially the works that ultimately let him
reach folks beyond the inner circles. And writing movie soundtracks
is a good choice for any composer who wouldn't mind expanding an
audience. For a while, his sound was somewhat novel, though there
were other folks doing similar things. But why did he appear to
purposefully arrest his own artistic development? What the heck
Here's a theory: Before his art was his living, he seemed to be
trying harder and having it pay off artistically, but after his art
became his living, I think he began to be less inventive. His
approach became more and more self-limiting. I mean, he began
writing music as if he were making clothing from only several or
possibly only two bolts of cloth. Want a 'new' composition? Maybe
an opera? Grab a bolt, pin the pattern down, and cut around the
pattern. Frankly, he's not really as prolific as he seems. It's not
that different from what many composers do, but he's drawing from
such narrow sources, it just seems overly and un-artistically
synthetic and contrived.
And this choice of artistic direction is suspiciously like that of
the 'stripe' painters of approximately the same period and their ilk,
or of various other one-trick pony types from many artistic
disciplines. Like so many others, in an age of briefer than ever
attention spans and soundbite mentalities (its a cliche, but its
true), he found that if he stuck to those peculiarly narrow 'bolts of
cloth', he could be accepted, and make a decent living.
It's not all that far-fetched. And, who knows, perhaps he'll create
some new material someday that defies those observations. I'm only
suggesting that success had a negative effect on his art. If it
hadn't, maybe Glass WOULD be a classic. But success never spoils
A certain amount of frission has been lost since then, as the landscape shifted under his feet -- I'd characterize Glass' career since roughly Einstein as trying to rediscover an alternate spiritualism outside of the western cannon, with varying degrees of success depending on both his incorporative ability and the extent to which that which he seeks to incorporate is total crap.
In some ways, the most important thing to recognize about glass IS his range, because it isn't restricted to the canon, but trying to redefine it -- witness his Bowie symphonies, his collabs with bryne and vega, the euro-12-tone touches which he treated with the SAME attitude in Les Infants... &c.
― Sterling Clover, Tuesday, 5 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
But he's so astoundingly easy to imitate and even counterfit -- a
strange but useful and fun musical game often played by the musically
agile. All sneakiness and legal issues aside (he's a celeb, and this
was 'satire'), I once witnessed a 'premier' of 'his' work that was
entirely convincing, and the attending fans loved its pants off quite
gushingly. It was kind of sad. But it was a fascinating social
experiment if nothing else. Thus I can't help feeling that his style
is terribly lacking in true and subtle idiosyncracies. And that, to
varying degrees, his fans are strangely nondiscriminating. Is the
emperor wearing no clothes? I see it as a distinct possibility.
And does that lack of subtle idiosyncracies (ones that are not as
easy to parrot or extrapolate by people who have the ears to 'see'
EXACTLY what Glass is doing) put his music into the 'dehumanizing'
camp? Yes, quite. And that's a legitimate artistic motivation.
Many of the 12-tone composers coming out and away from the
pointlessness of world war I were exploring a similar creative
impulse. And whether one enjoys listening to 12-tone music or not,
it can be safely said that it was radical and not commercial. Glass
is not a radical. And I don't believe that he ever was. Well, not
lately anyway. Glass's music is extremely conservative.
― j.b., Tuesday, 5 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
'Einstein' sure is remarkable though, the main themes are totally beautiful (far more angular and weird than the dippy schubert mode he went for later) and the shifting rhythms keep knocking you off guard, it's not background music, it demands active listening... I wonder what his reputation would be like these days if he'd stopped at that exact point, but hey then he'd probably still be a starving cab driver, wouldn't be fair to him.
There's still some rhythmic variation in 'Satyagraha' but a lot of it goes for straight toe-tapping pulsation. By 'Glassworks' the stacks of rhythm have gone entirely missing, it's nothing but those doodley doodley arpeggios, and bingo: commercial breakthrough, and no looking back. Since the 80's, less pounding, increasingly smoothed out, simple bland loveliness. Almost too easy to criticize.
No one should write off Glass entirely before hearing 'Einstein on the Beach', it's still incredible. The original '79 Sony recording is still better, the 90's re-recording has better production values and tighter, faster performances but loses too much, nothing can touch the farfisa organ arrangements or the vocal performances on the original. I think 'North Star' is still lovely. Of the 80's stuff, I still love the soundtrack to 'Mishima', especially the sections for string quartet. It was 'Solo Piano' that convinced me to stop buying the stuff and the few things I've heard since then make me kind of angry.
― Jon Leidecker, Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:38 (seventeen years ago) link
― mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:42 (seventeen years ago) link
― JasonD (JasonD), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:54 (seventeen years ago) link
― mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 22:28 (seventeen years ago) link
― Juan (Juan), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 22:42 (seventeen years ago) link
It's back! (many XPs to Jon)
― MaresNest, Thursday, 9 May 2019 11:58 (one year ago) link
Premiering the Lodger Symphony with Angelique Kidjo on the South Bank tonight, wish I could be there.
― the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Thursday, 9 May 2019 12:01 (one year ago) link
Yes, I was looking at the page for it this morning thinking just the same.
― MaresNest, Thursday, 9 May 2019 12:41 (one year ago) link
The new piece with Third Coast Ensemble (on Spotify, etc.) is definitely worth a listen. His first all-percussion composition.
― ... (Eazy), Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:59 (one year ago) link
Oh cool - I dig the way he has used percussion in his symphonies
― valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 9 May 2019 22:10 (one year ago) link
realized I haven't stanned my piano crush Víkingur Ólafsson's Glass album in here
― don't mock my smock or i'll clean your clock (silby), Thursday, 9 May 2019 22:12 (one year ago) link
And today, the whole ten yards -
I like this, it's a little starker than the Nonsuch version.
― MaresNest, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 13:36 (one year ago) link
― Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 21 May 2019 15:23 (one year ago) link
If that were in slow motion and three hours long it would make a good Godfrey Reggio film.
― Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 15:38 (one year ago) link
Saw something recently where he said that he'd tried to get away from his signature sound, but couldn't. Seemed unhappy about it, or at least humbled.His new music for Lodger lyrics couldn't be any worse than the original album, which I always found frustrating after Heroes and Low, not to mention most of Bowie's others up to that point.North Star is a good soundtrack from the 70s---haven't played it since then, but did later see the film, a documentary about the artist Mark de Suvero, and thought it worked well both ways, as accompaniment or stand-alone record. The doc starts with the artist, swimming to the surface of a lake and gradually emerging, looking like an ancient statue of a hero or god--but then he lurches up onto the land and starts scuttling uphill before reaching his balance. He was injured in his loft studio's freight elevator, but he's adjusting, and his own sculptures, which at first look precarious, have their own sense of symmetry.Same with the music, although it's not grand or heroic; as I recall, each track develops one fairly distinctive theme from small segments, riffs even. instrumental and/or vocal, and it all fits. Didn't seem compelling---I was more into punk, Funkadelic, Miles at the time---but refreshingly different for my '77.
― dow, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 18:27 (one year ago) link
Xgau recommended it to Eno fans, which is why I bought it (also because somebody else related it to Ray Manzarek, and later Glass said he enjoyed the Doors' Fillmore East shows, also produced Manzarek's album of Carmina Burana).
― dow, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 18:34 (one year ago) link
― MaresNest, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 18:39 (one year ago) link
Just posting this here because I have a slight obsession with this composition and I've seen it get zero love so far on the thread:
― The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Saturday, 25 May 2019 21:30 (one year ago) link
Since this thread is live again, and I've got it in my clipboard from the Beck poll thread:
Been seven years now, and this still just takes my breath away.
― Soundslike, Sunday, 26 May 2019 00:08 (one year ago) link
Oh wow @ complete Music in 12 Parts. Sometimes I forget how good that early stuff can be.
― All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Sunday, 26 May 2019 14:12 (one year ago) link
A recording of the MI12P Barbican concert in 2017 (which I saw) went up on D!me@dozen the other day.
― MaresNest, Saturday, 1 June 2019 14:39 (one year ago) link
I've been enjoying this transcription for piano of the Mishima score http://www.makinamekawa.com/mishima/
― don't mock my smock or i'll clean your clock (silby), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 15:24 (one year ago) link
Saw him and the Ensemble in Dublin on Saturday doing Music in Twelve Parts. The concert was great but he did not look well. He didn't take part in the following evening's performance of Koyaanisqatsi and won't be at the Barbican tomorrow night for Music with Changing Parts (the Ensemble will play without him). Hope he gets well soon.
― van dyke parks generator (anagram), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 10:27 (one year ago) link
some kind of drama in the audience yesterday too
What a show. Unreal after all these years. Hope #philipglass is better tomorrow. We had a wonderful night apart from dramatics at the end. Get in the bloody ambulance— Twatter a right dump (@C1ust3r) October 27, 2019
― StanM, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:36 (one year ago) link
Phelim McDermott's production of Akhnaten looked even more gorgeous at the Met in New York earlier this month than when I saw it at the ENO a few years back. Not that I saw it live but I saw the live broadcast in cinemas:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSn_UAquOfw There's an audio stream up on the BBC Radio 3 website for another three weeks or so.
― van dyke parks generator (anagram), Monday, 16 December 2019 09:01 (eleven months ago) link
Wonder how he's doing, it's always at the back of my mind now when I see these thread revives.
― Maresn3st, Monday, 16 December 2019 10:36 (eleven months ago) link
I think he's OK at the moment following his illness in Europe, he was out and about for the final performance of Akhnaten the other week.
― van dyke parks generator (anagram), Monday, 16 December 2019 10:57 (eleven months ago) link
― Maresn3st, Friday, 22 May 2020 21:30 (six months ago) link
A previously unrecorded piece from 1970, Music in Eight Parts, hit streaming services today. I reviewed it.
― but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 22 May 2020 21:37 (six months ago) link
Oh nice, I think I found a midi file of this a while back and made a little version in ProTools, was it an unfinished manuscript or something that someone found on his publisher's archive? I can't quite recall.
― Maresn3st, Friday, 22 May 2020 22:41 (six months ago) link
Ah, the answers lie therein :)
― Maresn3st, Friday, 22 May 2020 22:42 (six months ago) link
Hey I went to college with Peter Hess! Oberlin Jazz major, really nice dude.
The oberlin -> Glass and related projects runs deep.
― dan selzer, Saturday, 23 May 2020 01:52 (six months ago) link
Just a heads up that the Met website is streaming the recent productions of Akhnaten and Satyagraha this week. Not 100% convinced by the staging of Satyagraha but the Akhnaten is a total masterpiece:
― joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Friday, 19 June 2020 12:35 (five months ago) link
The last concert I went to before quarantine and everything started was a performance of Music in Twelve Parts, on February 29 at the Annenberg Center in Philly. It was pretty amazing.
― blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Friday, 19 June 2020 13:08 (five months ago) link
Yeah, I saw about Eight Parts in The New Yorker recently, want to hear that.Posted about xpost Twelve Parts on Rolling Reissues (label has a bunch of others on bandcamp, incl full streams of their recent Morricone and Pharoah Sanders reissues):https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0913454654_10.jpgMusic in Twelve Parts. Concert à Paris,1975by Philip GlassLost PHILIP GLASS Recording from 1975 (1h10).
ORTF Recordings by the Philip Glass Sextet,live at Studio 104, Maison de la Radio, Paris.
Also included a very rare Philip Glass interview from 1974 in his NYC loft during the rehearsals of this piece, produced for the french radio by Daniel Caux.Remastered from the orginal master tapes (ORTF).he newly discovered and unreleased concert from 1975 recorded by the Philip Glass Sextet at La Maison de Radio, Paris.The sextet is composed of Philip Glass, Jon Gibson, Dickie Landry,Michael Riesman, Joan La Barbara and Richard Peck.
Music in Twelve Parts is a set of twelve pieces written between 1971 and 1974. This performance in France includes part 1, 2, 3, 11 and 12 on a double LP.(+ download code)© INA 1974-1975℗ 2019 Transversales Disquescreditsreleased April 24, 2020full album streamhttps://transversales.bandcamp.com/album/music-in-twelve-parts-concert-paris-1975
― dow, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 18:36 (five months ago) link
That label's unwillingness to sell their releases digitally unless you buy the vinyl is annoying to me.
― but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 18:46 (five months ago) link
Yeah, plus it was originally sold out at source so I bought it from a distributor, but those copies didn't even come with a download code. wtf.
― joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 19:48 (five months ago) link
They may have vinyl rights but not digital rights.
― dan selzer, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 19:49 (five months ago) link
I'm sure that's right, but in that case how can they give digital copies away with sales of the vinyl?
― joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 19:56 (five months ago) link
Yeah, I'll just listen on bandcamp for now.
― dow, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 20:39 (five months ago) link
Thought revive was about two operas streaming over the weekend.
― Barry "Fatha" Hines (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 12:51 (five months ago) link
i watched most of the Doctor Atomic performance last night. filmed plays are strange to watch, with actors/singers making facial expressions intended for the last row, seen close up
― time is running out to pitch in $5 (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 14:52 (five months ago) link
Must have missed that post(/zing) the same way I missed most of both those operas. Maybe I can listen and look at photos or videos. I like Doctor Atomic, saw it at the Met, but didn’t watch the stream.
― Barry "Fatha" Hines (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:22 (four months ago) link
Spotted on the official Glass Twitter account:
― but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 3 October 2020 17:23 (one month ago) link
Escalators of Death!
― aworks, Saturday, 3 October 2020 17:38 (one month ago) link
Met website is streaming Akhnaten this evening.
― Maresn3st, Saturday, 14 November 2020 19:24 (one week ago) link
I came here to post just that. I love a good spectacle, watching it now.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 15 November 2020 22:33 (one week ago) link
Seems to be in the on demand library now as well
― An Andalusian Do-rag (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 November 2020 22:39 (one week ago) link
I think that's right, but at least for right now it is free, which is the big appeal.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 15 November 2020 22:40 (one week ago) link
I thought this was beautiful, ridiculous and amazing. I'm glad I put in the time.
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 16 November 2020 03:36 (one week ago) link
I'm still so happy they filmed the last full production of Einstein and made it available, it's wonderful.
― Maresn3st, Monday, 16 November 2020 11:28 (one week ago) link
― Maresn3st, Saturday, 21 November 2020 19:38 (three days ago) link
wow, thanks. this is great.
― joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Saturday, 21 November 2020 20:32 (three days ago) link
― xzanfar, Saturday, 21 November 2020 21:31 (three days ago) link
― xzanfar, Saturday, 21 November 2020 21:32 (three days ago) link