Philip Glass: Classic or Dud? Search and Destroy

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Search: Two Pages is better than I remembered.

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

Search: Music in Eighteen Parts.

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

its "music in twelve parts"

you're combining it with reich's "music for eighteen musicians"

Gage-o, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't know what it is about Glass, but most of his work bugs the shit out of me, because it seems so monotonous. Or is that tri- tonous? His constant arpeggiation drives me out of my mind when I have to keep listening to it. People keep pointing out the subtle shifts in the arpeggiation, and how the pieces move through various transformations along the way, but for some reason that constant deedle-eedle-eedle-eee arpeggiation hits my brain in a spot that is very unpleasant. (Yes, I realize that this method of composition is roughly equivalent to, say, Lustm0rd's use of drones, or Spacemen 3's one-chord wonders, but those things don't bug me. I tend to equate Glass' technique more with the Wesley Willis school of composition...just use the same ideas, shift them around a little bit, maybe change the key. I just don't get the appeal, daddy-o.)

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh, but credit where credit is due: I actually liked Low Symphony. But then again, that'd probably be because he's using other artists' work as the foundation for his own.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh yes, the Heroes Symphony is also v. nice.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Einstein On The Beach!

Jeff W, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Dud. He bugs the hell out of me, too. I only hear his music when its used with a film or show I'm watching. Mercifully, it's no longer impossible to avoid like it was in the wake of Koyaanis-fucking-qatsi.

Curt, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

>I tend to equate Glass' technique more with the Wesley Willis school of composition...

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 stuff.

Todd Burns, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I used to like glassworks, but now it bugs the fuck out of me.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

pretty classic, at least for Glassworks, Koyaanqatsi (fantastic film!) etc. Powaqatsi was ok, although quite dull at the start.

michael, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Music in Twelve Parts.

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.

Todd Burns, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

classic for "music in fifths", "music is similar motion" and "music with changing parts". 5th and similar show the robotic stridency that endeared me to his music in the first place whilst changing parts is softer and more mesmeric - perfect chillout style.

i find the rest pretty much ordinairy although the live experience is always amazing.

philT, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

His timbres are TERRIBLE, the scale and length of his projects outweight their impact, his collaborations are frightening, and his stuff sounds REALLY REALLY dated. I know he's important and stuff, but I'm personally going to give him the "dud."

Clarke B., Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I like the Photographer a lot, but It's the first album I remembering listening to, so it's got lots of sentimental value.

A Nairn, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Golly, this takes me back a bit. First musical connection I made as an undergrad was with another Glass fan, from whom I borrowed Koyaanisqatsi (loved), Einstein on the Beach and Akhnaten (didn't like much).

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 onwards.

Michael Jones, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Search: Dracula, Mishima and Kundin sndtrcks. Hereos, Low Symphonies and string quartets.

Destroy: Piano pieces.

Mr noodles, Thursday, 31 January 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I really like the recent album of Glass material by Brazilian group Uakti, called "Aguas de Amazonas". For the guy who didn't like Glass's timbres, this could be the answer. Uakti play unique instruments they have invented and built themselves (mostly tuned percussion), using everyday materials, such as wood, glass, and even PVC pipe, as well as more traditional instruments like organ and flutes.

Andy M., Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
A grossly over-rated composer. I'm not against minimalism per se, but sometimes less is just plain less, not more. Anyway, I find it interesting that his commercial popularity nicely belies the woeful yet easily observed and fully documented fact that there are a whole lot of musically naive people out there, not coincidentally mostly over-pampered status-oriented near-do-wells, who really need to believe that they're actually somewhat musically sophisticated -- and Glass's quasi-intellectual, comfortably hypnotic, essentially conservative and utterly unchallenging solipsistic sound is ever so easy for such people to enthusiastically relate to. Big surprise. But does that make him classic? Classic composers have names like Shubert, Faure, Satie, Jacob, Mister Rogers, Zappa... The list goes on and on. It's a long list and there's always room for more. But, truly, Glass doesn't happen to be on that list. Sure, Glass's inherent banality may well mirror many of the worst aspects of the our disturbingly screwed-up modern world, but that doesn't make him classic. Glass is most definitely a dud.

John Barrow, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Also "interesting", ie funny, is when ppl frantically attempting intellectual superiority get words wrong. I expect this "belies" something too.

mark s, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Also "interesting", ie funny, is when ppl frantically attempting intellectual superiority mention Zappa.

Andrew L, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm assuming Mister Rogers is someone other than the children's TV show host?

sundar subramanian, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

How essentially conservative and utterly unchallenging of you Sundar!

mark s, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

it is hard for me to imagine music more perfect than philip glass.

ethan, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

But I thought Mister Rogers was emo!

geeta, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm not suggesting that Glass's music is actually bad, mind you, any more than I would suggest that eating cotton-candy is bad. But it's still just cotton-candy. And as for intellectual superiority regarding Glass versus Zappa, whether or not one personally prefers or admires one man's music over the other's, it's a fully demonstratable phenomenological reality (as opposed to a popularity contest) that Zappa was operating on a significantly higher intellectual level than Glass could ever hope to acheive or sustain, strictly in terms of each man's native talent for conceptualizing and realizing 'art' music in the Western tradition of using one's imagination to arrange balls and sticks upon a staff. And, yes, one CAN infer such things. It's only a matter of being well-informed and perceptive. And in this case it's not very difficult. Simply stated, Glass is not particularly musically agile. And, sorry, but he's not very innovative either, at least not technically and artistically. Easy-to-chew bread and circus-style entertainment is nothing new, with or without mind-numbingly redundant arpeggios. He may speak intellectually and he may in fact be a more or less well- polished and intellectual fellow and he may even be a fun person to invite to parties, but that's not really the point. Glass's MUSIC is exceedingly banal in a simplistic and essentially non-threatening way, granted, often on a ridiculously large scale, but his music is not very sophisticated intellectually. And I'm referring to qualitative factors, not quantitative. True intellectualism is seldom popular. And I don't suppose it ever will be. And so it comes as no surprise that, among modern mostly spoiled detached simple and ordinary garden-variety people with outrageously artificially inflated standards of living who can AFFORD the luxury of pretending to be a whole lot more sophisticated than they really are (yes, some truths are very unpleasant indeed), Glass's music is often just what the doctor ordered. He serves his purpose well enough. Why do you suppose he's as popular as he is? Naturally his fans may think that he's all that and a bag of chips, but that doesn't make it so. Sure, there may be many ways of accounting for Glass's popularity, but, in case anyone hasn't noticed, he's not 'the Beatles'. But getting back to the subject of intellectual superiority, 'classic' status is not a simple function of intelligence. What we're really discussing is what makes some art superior to other art (is he a classic or a dud, remember?), and that is a far more challenging and interesting subject than merely assessing intelligence. Glass provides excessive quantities of cotton-candy to people who like consuming excessive quantities of cotton-candy. Mmm, yummy. And in the end, purely technically, it all boils down to a rather boring tautology anyway. Whatever his music is, than that's what it is. What is it's true value? It beats me. One person's artistic obsession or fixation is no more or less valid than anyone else's. Assuming that the matter is entirely subjective, which I'm not so sure of but what the hey. And by the way I DO know how to spell 'Schubert'. I'm only human. And, yes, Mister Rogers' music is 'classic'. There are lots of good reasons for falling into the 'classic' catagory. Take care fellow humans. Critical thinking WILL NOT make hair grow on your palms. I don't care what they say.

Mr. Barrow, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

it's true. i'm dumb and i like glass and don't like zappa.

Todd Burns, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Also "interesting", ie funny, is when ppl frantically attempting intellectual superiority get words wrong. I expect this "belies" something too.
Maybe that the listener is focusing too much on the packaging instead of the content. ;-) I am busy on the opposite: Expanding my vo-ca-bu-la-ry and deleting the little knowledge I have.

helenfordsdale, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

use some fucking paragraph breaks you "critical thinker" you

mark s, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

helen your vocabulary is four times as large almost everyone else's here, vot with the flemish, the dutch und ze wild und daring variant schpellingZoR

also you are fun to read, which it has been proved enlarges the reader's brain even when they actually want it ensmallened like me

mark s, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Are we talking about the background music on Mister Rogers or does he have other stuff?

sundar subramanian, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Perhaps vocabulary size IS a valid measure of intelligence. The more words ya know, the smarter ya am. Learn MORE words and make yourself more smarter. Easy. Golly, there sure are a lot of smart people out there. And the more different words they use, the more smarter they is. Perhaps. Though I'm inclined to believe that associative cognitive talents (as opposed to simple retrieval) may figure into the question of what makes intelligence intelligence. "Belie"...? What's up with that? Oh brother. Of course if the main thing that one has to frantically worry about and criticize others about is whether or not others are "using words right," than maybe one is a wee bit stuffy and pedantic and a few other things that one would likely prefer to deny tooth and nail. Anyhoot, I'm more interested in matters of the art than smarmy my-vocabulary-beats-your-vocabulary nitpicky pretentiousness. But that's just me. Maybe I'm old- fashioned, but I'm GLAD that everybody doesn't communicate in exactly the same way.

"...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 infinitum. Woof!

j.b., Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

J.B. -- yr 13, right? Act yr age, admit yr limits of knowledge and stick around to engage in discussion, not self-inflation, eh?

Sterling Clover, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

dude remember those stuck-up kids in jr high who would be like 'oh my, such vulgar language, an indication of a lesser mind' when you'd tell them to fuck off?

ethan, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I could be waxing poetic on the subject of erotic scrimshaw

It would be an improvement, but only in the relative sense.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

ethan: yeah, then I'd try to hit them or something and usually one of their friends would clock me.

Sterling Clover, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"yr 13, right?"? What the heck is that supposed to imply? Ineffectively glib -- not to mention having nothing to do with the work of philip Glass.

"...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 will improve.

j.b., Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

jb: your crass empiricism cannot harm our anti-rational, pro-pop, madcap five-dimensional logic!

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!)

Sterling Clover, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

hey that's better, paragraph breaks

mark s, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

ethan, one of the "32 Types of Brother" from Life in Hell: "I have zero interest in your infantile shenanigans"

mark s, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Personally, I'd rather hear more about the erotic scrimshaw.

Christine "Green Leafy Dragon" Indigo, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Now that's what it's all about. The art. Of course art doesn't have to be intellectual. The notion is absurd. And defining the value of Glass's music as a function of its emotional effect upon oneself is quite reasonable, especially when its emotional impact outweighs its intellectual impact. And therein lies a lot of interesting subjectivity. I wonder why SHOULD art make intellectual demands?

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 happened?

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 true classics.

j.b., Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

And who would blame you? Those interesting in learning more about erotic scrimshaw may visit Good luck.

j.b., Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

jb: I would disagree in Glass' case. His minimialism was orig. a v. radical gesture, stark and synthetic, much more imposing and anti-human than adams while being less conceptual than reich.

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

I agree that his callabs tend to be more interesting, but it's the folks with whom he's callabbing who (sometimes, when the audience is lucky) do the most to make the material intriguing. And if Glass carries some of that fresh blood into his own compositional circulatory system, than good for him. He's one composer who can benefit from the transfusions -- especially the non-crap collabs, but even crap may provide welcome variability or at least inspiration that may lead to greener artistic pastures. But, granted, his singularly patterned style is ready made for collabs. And in that regard that does make him a rather standout composer. So in the annals of hybridized musical creativity, maybe he's a classic.

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

eleven months pass...
Agreed it's all over once he gave up his additive rhythms, the shifting time signatures. Most people have only heard the post-commerical breakthrough Glassworks-onward stuff, where it really is nothing more than monolithic, strict tempo up/down arpeggios. Can't hold it against anyone who hates him if they've only heard that stuff.

'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

is there a non-cynical reason PG stopped using the non-dull rhythms? (like for example the permutations ran out, or at least started repeating themselves?)

mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:42 (seventeen years ago) link

i think Jon said it right above you: commercial breakthrough, and no looking back

JasonD (JasonD), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 20:54 (seventeen years ago) link

ok then, has PG ever offered up an aesthetic get-out clause (or does he justify it commercially as well)?

mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 5 February 2003 22:28 (seventeen years ago) link

I have a very limited knowledge of Glass and classical music in general. That said The Kronos Quartet did a record of his work that I enjoy quite a bit. Seems as though Glass raises a lot ire in people. But from my perspective(which again is limited) it doesn't sound so far removed from music by Cluster or Eno. Of course I love Cluster & Eno a lot, so what do I know?

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

don't mock my smock or i'll clean your clock (silby), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 15:24 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

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

one month passes...

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:

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

five months pass...

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

three weeks pass...

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):
Music in Twelve Parts. Concert à Paris​,​1975
by Philip Glass
Lost 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 Disques
released April 24, 2020

full album stream

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

it was

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

three months pass...

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

one month passes...

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

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