Saturday, July 24, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Philip Glass
Song:Wichita Vortex Sutra
Album:Best Of Philip Glass
Philip Glass is one of the most renowned of 20th century classical composers. His music is sometimes descibed as minimalist but Glass calls it music with repetitive structures. He has written in all different kinds of formats. Wichita Vortex Sutra is a solo piano piece that Glass normally performs himself. He was born Jan. 31, 1937 in Baltimore. His father owned a record store so he was obviously exposed to classical music at an early age. He attended Julliard in the mid 50s with another renowned composer Steve Reich and moved to Paris in the mid-60s to study with composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. While there he worked in experimental theatre and then spent some time in India in 1966 and became interested in Buddhism. He moved to New York in 1967 and started composing while operating a moving company. He worked a lot in this period with fellow minimalist composer Steve Reich though they parted ways in 1971. Glass composed his first opera Einstein On The Beach in 1976. And so he continued to compose all different types of music and would perform a lot of it himself. But what has probably got Glass more exposure than anything is his film compositions especially the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi. He has been nominated for three Oscars and won a Golden Globe for the 1999 film The Truman Show. Wichita Vortex Sutra is a solo piano piece first written and performed in 1988 on an album of solo piano pieces. Glass apparently wrote it as a tribute to The Beat Poets of the 50s and legendary poet Allen Ginsburg has even written words for the song. It's on this 2CD comp released by Sony Germany in 2007 to commemorate Glass' 70th birthday. It's a good place to start for beginners. Philip Glass continues to be active mostly composing chamber music and orchestral works. It doesn't look like he is slowing down anytime soon. Here's Philip Glass performing Wichita Vortex Sutra in Lawrence, KS 1996.