Philip Glass is one of the most familiar names in contemporary music today. He is also one of the most successful and widely-performed living composers and his output ranges from instrumental works and large-scale operas and theater pieces to film music and collaborations with rock musicians. Glass was born in Baltimore in 1937 to Jewish immigrant parents and his early musical education began with violin lessons at the age of six and at the age of eight he was accepted at the Peabody Institute (the youngest student ever accepted at that august institution). Studies there included his by now preferred instrument, the flute, and by the time he reached his teens he began composing.
An album the majority of whose contents consists of harp arrangements of music by Philip Glass might seem a bit arcane for a major label, but it seems that Sony knows what it is doing here. The Glass Effect double album is one of those releases that succeed on two different levels, an explicit one and one that, although not mentioned, is perhaps even more important. The former level here is the one denoted by the title, as Meijer picks up the rather neglected theme of Philip Glass' influence by offering, on disc two, a group of works by younger composers who follow Glass in varying degrees but who, it's safe to say, wouldn't have the styles they do without Glass having gone before. Much of the album consists of arrangements by Meijer herself, and these include, at the end, a remix of music from Koyaanisqatsi that's delightful and would be spoiled by description. But there's also solo harp music: sample the Suite for Harp by progressive rock musician Bryce Dessner, who certainly seems to have absorbed Glass' style far enough to make it his own.
Orange Mountain Music presents the world premiere recording of Philip Glass' The Passion of Ramakrishna. Commissioned by the Pacific Symphony and premiered in 2006 during the opening of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, Glass' 45 minute oratorio, written for soloists, chorus and large orchestra, is a passion play and a tribute to 19th Century Indian spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna. The work portrays his death with the chorus taking up the voice of Ramakrishna himself and the soloists are those of his loved ones, doctor and disciples. Maestro Carl St.Clair, a longtime champion of the music of Philip Glass, leads the Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale and soloists Christopheren Numura, Janice Chandler Eteme, Kevin Deas, I-Chin Feinblatt and Nicholas Preston.
A uniquely intimate portrait of the music icon, Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts explores the contemporary composer's creative process in opera, concert, and film, interwoven with candid scenes of his personal and spiritual life. In July 2005, filmmaker Scott Hicks started shooting a documentary about the composer Philip Glass to celebrate his 70th birthday in 2007. Over the next 18 months, he followed Glass across three continents, from his annual ride on the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster, to the world premiere of his new opera in Germany, to a performance with a didgeridoo virtuoso in Australia.
Fantasy, adventure, magic, monsters, fairies, witches, kings and queens are all part of the world created by Caldecott Medal winning Beni Montresor and acclaimed composer Philip Glass in this children's opera-ballet that was originally created for the world's most famous opera house, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. The piece was based on Montresor's children's book, The Witches of Venice.
Glass's most famous works are often large scale and very serious in nature. His works for the stage, screen and opera house such as Einstein on the Beach, Symphony No. 6 "Plutonian Ode" and his famous Koyaanisqatsi all fit that description.
Undertow, set in an American South untouched by time, is a uniquely American dramatic thriller from director David Gordon Green starring Jamie Bell, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney, and newcomer Devon Alan. A tale of violent legacies between two generations of brothers, Undertow depicts what happens when a hardworking father raising two sons without their mother is paid an unexpected visit by his older ex-convict brother who is looking to settle an old score.
How do you write music for a story that encompasses the 20th Century…? A story that also combines elements of caprice and destiny. And at its center a story that asks whether war is inevitable, unavoidable, part of human nature. This is my third collaboration with Philip Glass, and I cannot think of who else could have written the music. I once told Philip that he creates a feeling of existential dread better than anyone else I know of. And this is a movie filled with existential dread. I like to think of it as music for the apocalypse, where the apocoalypse is not so much the end of the world but just more of what we've seen before, more of the same.
Philip Glass' string quartets may contain his most intimate music. They are works through which a very public composer, perhaps the most important opera reformer of our age and a longstanding collaborator in large-scale music theater, holds up a mirror to himself and his way of composing.
Even Glass' most loyal listeners may be surprised to learn that he has written eight quartets to date. His first three compositions, he says, were string quartets — student works, now discarded. His first numbered quartet was written in 1966, in Paris, shortly after Glass had finished his studies there with Nadia Boulanger and had been introduced to the music of India by Ravi Shankar. It is the culmination of Glass' earliest attempts at a highly reductive style, containing a series of short sections comprised of tiny repeated motives, and it proved the precursor of the classic minimalist technique he was soon to develop.