Liking Philip Glass after all

November 4, 2009

I watched the two-hour documentary on Philip Glass this weekend called GLASS: Portrait in 12 parts. It’s a terrific look inside one of America’s most successful composers. The amount of work he has done in his life is stunning: operas, symphonies, film scores, concertos, chamber music, piano music. He confesses to getting up early in the morning and working all day: “that’s my secret.”

He doesn’t care whether people like his music or not. “There is plenty of other music to listen to. You don’t have to listen to mine. Listen to Mozart, or the Beatles…”

I love hearing him confess that he never has a plan when he starts composing–he just starts. When asked what he was composing, he answered: “It’s the 8th Symphony, but I’m not sure whether it’s the first movement or the third movement.”

Does Glass’s music mean that we should perpetuate kosher voice leading a la Bach, or throw it out the window as any chord can really go to any chord. One this is for sure, fingers still appreciate good voice leading, regardless of the esthetic.

What blew my mind was that Glass composes with pencil. PENCIL! Can you imagine the king of repetition using a pencil? Copy and paste is what computers do best Phil!

The film gave me a new respect for Philip Glass as an artist, an American icon, and as a person.

Doodla deedla doodla deedla
Doodle diddy doodle diddy
Doodla deedla doodla deedla
Doodle diddy doodle diddy

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