December 04, 2003

Hate him. Love him. He ain't going away.
  • Glass' "Greeting The Sun" and Copland's "Our Town Suite" kept me from death last year. Yes.
  • Knock knock! Who's there? Knock knock! Who's there? Knock knock! Who's there? Knock knock! Who's there? Philip Glass.
  • A few months ago I decided to buy the Music with Changing Parts CD blind, knowing only Glass' reputation for inaccessible landscaping. The first time I listened to it was in the car, picking up my wife. After maybe fifteen minutes she asked, "What the hell IS this?" and thus convinced that the shrew's heartbeat of an organ was getting on her nerves, I forwarded to the next track. Only to have it start again. She made me take it out. The epilogue is, however, that I rather like it. When I am by myself.
  • Yep; To really enjoy ol' Phil you ideally should be in a cave with Bill Hurt and A big bowl of mushroom soup, or Giving birth to a new race, or Both.
  • Phillip Glass is all right... but I personally prefer Steve Reich and Terry Riley (who along with Glass and LaMonte Young make up the quartet of seminal musical minimalists). Reich in particular is rather compelling. Every so often I throw his choral/orchestral work The Desert Music into the CD player and just bathe in it. Also recommended: the CD Early Works and any recording of Four Organs or Drumming. For some Riley fun, you could do worse than to pick up Bang On A Can's recent recording of his hugely influential work In C (you can download a .pdf file of the score for In C from that page). BOAC's rendition is brilliant.
  • Reich IS truly cool. I'm so glad there are other minimalists out there! Glass gave a talk and a concert in Columbia (outside of Baltimore) a couple of months ago and was refreshingly free from cant or theory--just an exhuberant man who works hard and knows what he's doing... Then a month later I went to see his new "Copernicus" opera at BAM in NYC, and it was completely unintelligible. Gibberish. The man keeps me on my toes/
  • Sorry... the first appearance of In C in the post above was intended to contain the link to the score. (I really shouldn't post late at night.) [On preview: Dizzy, there's an NPR interview with Phillip Glass that you should keep your eyes peeled for. It's conducted by This American Life's Ira Glass, who apparently is Phillip's relative (a cousin or nephew, if I recall correctly). Said article may be archived somewhere on NPR's site.]
  • love the knock-knock joke. heh. my problem with glass -- don't get me wrong, i love his stuff -- is that it's just soooooooooo mesmerizing that i sloooowly find myself faaaaaaallllinnnnngggggg asleeeeeeeeppppppp.... as in his "koyaanisqatsi" and "powaqqatsi" soundtracks. i snoozed through most of both.
  • I stole a CD full of modern classical music off my music teacher a couple of years ago. John Adams' Shaker Loops, with some stuff by Glass and Reich thrown in for free. Very good stuff. Although there's now a large scratch in one of the Glass tracks, causing it to skip and jump all over the place. This actually makes it sound better.
  • If you are looking for something interesting in contemporary music you might check out Lou Harrison. His music is very interesting and immensely beautiful. He died earlier this year, but New Albion Records has a number of his recent works available. He has a very large catalog, but sadly little has made its way to CD. His mid-70s Gamelan music is what I find most interesting. Here is a lengthy list of his acomplishments. Interview NPR Obituary
  • [AvantGardeComposerJokeFilter] 1: "Knock, knock" 2: "Who's there?" 1: "John Cage" 2: "John Cage who?" 1: [stays silent for around four-and-a-half minutes]
  • I wouldn't say I love I love I love I love I wouldn't say I love Philip Glass Philip Glass Philip Glass Philip Philip Philip Philip Glass But at the same time the same time the same time But at the same time I really rather like him like like like really rather like him on certain occasions.
  • Whooo! whooo! WHOOO!
  • phillip glass rocks. In a repeditive sound scape kind of way. I find him more melodic than Steve Reich, but I really need to listen to all more.