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Philip Glass – a rare bird

May 17th, 2010

Filed under: MUSIC


This little report by EDtv (Eindhovens Dagblad tv) barely captures a whiff of the essence of sitting in a live performance by the Philip Glass Ensemble. This music was ahead of its time 30 or 40 years ago and like many trailblazing artists, Philip Glass is a bit of a rare bird. A performance of either of these pieces is a rarity too, and Eindhoven must have felt honoured to host the great composer for this unusual occasion. (Despite locals’ pride of Eindhoven’s strongest claim to fame, I doubt there is a connection to any associations of his name with that Dutch electronics giant – Philips). Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to both days of the “Philip Glass weekend”, but day turned to night during the concert on Sunday, Music in 12 Parts. It was a long (5 hours in total), but thrilling experience that stays with me even now. Drifting between consciousness, thrall, trance bordering on boredom and breathless anticipation, it was as if we were listening to someone’s lifetime over those 12 parts. As the venerable Mr Glass says in the youtube film, he will not be around forever; so it’s my turn to feel honoured to have taken this rare journey through Philip Glass’s music, live, and to have been led the way there by the man himself.

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