Philip Glass

It's only cool if no one's heard of it.

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Spuddly
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Philip Glass

Postby Spuddly » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:41 am UTC

Most of you have heard this guy's work; it's quite ubiquitous. In modern pop culture, his music was featured in one of the GTA4 trailers, which was referencing Koyaanisqatsi- Life out of Balance, a movie about cities.

It's really ambient, classical stuff. He's been called a minimalist, but he says he's not. I recommend checking out his Metamorphoses on youtube. There's something about his music that I really like. It's so simple and complete. I think it soothes my inner autism or something. There isn't any superfluity to the noise, just a handful of notes repeated and elaborated. If computers made music (like a sad AI 10,000 years in the future who is lonely), it'd probably sound like this.

[edit]
Some youtube videos:
GTA4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M80K51Do ... re=related
Life out of Balance version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFBijDU8 ... re=related
Metamorphosis 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il4VDf-ugPI
Metamorphosis 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWLvNULJ ... re=related
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Xutar
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Xutar » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

Just wanted to post this link (not that I necessarily agree with this):
Appearing to enjoy Classical Music

Spuddly
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Spuddly » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:12 pm UTC

Xutar wrote:Just wanted to post this link (not that I necessarily agree with this):
Appearing to enjoy Classical Music


Not knowing who Philip Glass is is the musical equivalent of not knowing who Samuel L. Jackson is.
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I Am Raven
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby I Am Raven » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:08 pm UTC

I must say of the Metamorphosis series I like 1 the best, then 4, then 2, then 5 and lastly 3. I taught myself how to play "Truman Sleeps" (which is always a good way to impress people with "piano skills" you don't have) and Metamorphosis 1. It's great to play, and wonderful to listen to. I will find myself thinking about life quite often listening to it. It's almost meditational.
A piece I'd reccomend to you is Glassworks - Opening.

(If you hadn't guessed: I'm glad somebody started a topic on this great composer. My dad says it's a disgrace that it falls into the catagory "music", but personally, I don't see why. It has all the elements music requires: emotion.)
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Masily box
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Masily box » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:13 am UTC

I Am Raven wrote:It has all the elements music requires: emotion.


So a baby crying is music?

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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Mzyxptlk » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:43 am UTC

I stopped reading that blog post when I got to "Though white people do not actually listen to classical music". Denial of fact is a pretty retarded thing to do, as is racism.

I've been exploring classical music recently, and I'm finding more and more that I like. I discovered Philip Glass a couple of months ago, and I thoroughly enjoy his music.

Masily box wrote:So a baby crying is music?

Quote sniping and being pedantic sucks.
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

I suspect that the blog linked above is trying to be ironic.

I'll leave one question, though: how does a listener find out if there is emotion in a given piece of music? Is it objective or subjective?

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Re: Philip Glass

Postby I Am Raven » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:56 pm UTC

Mzyxptlk wrote:
Masily box wrote:So a baby crying is music?

Quote sniping and being pedantic sucks.

But a whole lot of fun.
But please, let's stay on-topic.
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Masily box
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Masily box » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:08 am UTC

I meant neither to be pedantic nor to disrupt the discussion of Glass's music.

In fact, isn't that one of the values of minimalist music: that it challenges our aesthetic conceptions of what music is/can be? So I posed a serious question (albeit somewhat glibly): would we consider any sound that generates an emotional response music? If not, what further criteria do we need? It's not simply the fact that Glass writes "notes" with the standard notation for standard instruments--Reich's early tape-loop pieces like Come Out and It's Gonna Rain are clear examples of that. (Then again, some will argue that those pieces actually aren't music, and I'm interested in hearing what those people have to say.)

For the record, I don't contest that Glass writes music, but I do think that he's a second-rate* composer. Reich's music (especially his pre-1990's work) is much more interesting to listen to, from my perspective. I would probably like Glass better if mimicking his style hadn't become such a basic element of Hollywood's musical language--it's pretty tiresome. (Though I get major lulz out of the notion that Glass is Starbuck's father..)

*Placing him in decent company: Berlioz, Bruckner, R-K, Vaughan Williams, etc.

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Re: Philip Glass

Postby I Am Raven » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:54 pm UTC

Masily box wrote:I meant neither to be pedantic nor to disrupt the discussion of Glass's music.

In fact, isn't that one of the values of minimalist music: that it challenges our aesthetic conceptions of what music is/can be? So I posed a serious question (albeit somewhat glibly): would we consider any sound that generates an emotional response music? If not, what further criteria do we need? It's not simply the fact that Glass writes "notes" with the standard notation for standard instruments--Reich's early tape-loop pieces like Come Out and It's Gonna Rain are clear examples of that. (Then again, some will argue that those pieces actually aren't music, and I'm interested in hearing what those people have to say.)

For the record, I don't contest that Glass writes music, but I do think that he's a second-rate* composer. Reich's music (especially his pre-1990's work) is much more interesting to listen to, from my perspective. I would probably like Glass better if mimicking his style hadn't become such a basic element of Hollywood's musical language--it's pretty tiresome. (Though I get major lulz out of the notion that Glass is Starbuck's father..)

*Placing him in decent company: Berlioz, Bruckner, R-K, Vaughan Williams, etc.

More interesting, yes. But sometimes un-interesting things are more beautiful than the interesting ones.
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Antimatter Spork » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:02 pm UTC

Everyone arguing in this thread should check out John Cage. I'll wait.






Okay, now Philip Glass time. I have to say that he sounds pretty minimalist to me, but he might be arriving at a similar sound from a different thought process, but if he says he's not a minimalist, who am I to argue?

Koyaanisqatsi sure sounds minimalist though. As does Einstein on the Beach.
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby I Am Raven » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:15 pm UTC

You can definitely hear where Philip Glass got his inspiration from. Though Glass tends to "fill" his music, while Cage sticks to the melody. Don't get me wrong, I like them both! It is beautiful.
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Antimatter Spork » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:24 pm UTC

I Am Raven wrote:You can definitely hear where Philip Glass got his inspiration from. Though Glass tends to "fill" his music, while Cage sticks to the melody. Don't get me wrong, I like them both! It is beautiful.

I'm not saying that Glass got his inspiration or style from Cage, I'm saying that anyone who's arguing about what is or isn't music really needs to pay attention to what Cage wrote (both music and words. He's got a lot of interesting stuff to say with both).
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby Masily box » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:34 pm UTC

I Am Raven wrote:More interesting, yes. But sometimes un-interesting things are more beautiful than the interesting ones.


Well, perhaps we'll just have to disagree on this one. The scope of my imagination doesn't contain things that are both beautiful and boring. I suppose we're miscommunicating, though: for me, the experience of beauty (achieved through whatever means) is interesting. I guess what I really was saying is that I don't find Glass all that beautiful.

As for John Cage... well, he's got very interesting things to say. My problem with him is that the works of his that I like (the Suite for Toy Piano, many of the prepared piano pieces, but several of the number pieces as well) don't engage me in the ways that he claims to want: I feel a disconnect between his words and his music, though both are interesting.

But from the standpoint of what music can do (a more interesting version of the question "what is music?"), the minimalists bring up different issues than does Cage. (As for the title "minimalist," Glass just doesn't like the word--I'm sure he has no problem being put in a category with the likes of Reich. Artistic movements never get to choose what to call themselves: if we're going to speak of the baroque, impressionism, and atonality, minimalism is no worse a label.) Actually, in terms of what music can do, all the minimalists are rather different. There's the goal of promoting a trance-like state, which I'd associate mostly with Terry Riley and La Monte Young. Then there's Reich's goal of attending to the nature of gradual processes (which, like I said, I find most compelling). Then there's the desire to strip away everything but the sheer sensuality of sound--which is mainly what I get from Glass. But, really, Messiaen and Takemitsu and Feldman all do that better than Glass. I dunno, I'm probably just suffering from overexposure, but I get nothing from Glass that I can't get better from someone else.

(Finally, I thought that the "Metamorphosis"es were all movements of a single piece. Are they not?)

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Re: Philip Glass

Postby I Am Raven » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

(They can indeed be described as such.)

And I guess (about getting more out of other composers than Glass) that is just, like you said, a matter of opinion.
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby InstinctSage » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:25 pm UTC

So, I watched a documentary on Phillip Glass, which was really more about his personal life than his music. Though at the end it played what I later discovered was "Anthem 2", which I'd heard from the Truman Show soundtrack and really enjoyed. I love the contrary motion of the strings and horns.

Anyway, Glass is a prolific composer and I have no doubt that I'll dislike a lot of his stuff. So basically I'm asking for recommendations. If it helps you tune into my tastes a bit better, I really like music by Air, Wagner's Overtures, Chabrier's Espana, and Bach Fugues.

I guess not all of those are totally related to Glass, but I listen to them all 'in the same way', if that makes sense.
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Re: Philip Glass

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:34 am UTC

I quite like his "Solo Piano" album. The pieces on it (Metamorphosis I-V, Mad Rush, Wichita Sutra Vortex) are all incredibly beautiful, and I'm a sucker for solo piano pieces.

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Re: Philip Glass

Postby InstinctSage » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:45 pm UTC

Ooh, sounds good. I wish I had a nice piano to play.
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