Some Philip Glass for your Friday

20 05 2011

An organ transcription of the end of the opera, Satyagraha.


8 04 2011

The Four Sections

11 02 2011

A work by Steve Reich, which I find pretty infectious. Reich has admitted that he doesn’t compose for orchestra anymore, which makes sense. This is pretty much the limit of what his music can do in that medium, and I mean that in a good way.

Some Terry Riley

29 10 2010

An excerpt from a recent live concert

Showing off, among other things, the classical Indian vocals he learned when he was a disciple of Pandit Pran Nath.

In Re Don Giovanni

27 08 2010

Michael Nyman

Some Philip Glass

9 07 2010

Just because it’s been a while

La Monte Young – Just Charles & Cello in The Romantic Chord

18 06 2010

The opening


16 05 2010

Music by Philip Glass, with awesome accompanying video.

Dorian Blues in G

18 12 2009

The roadhous was rocking. Orpheus- the archetypal rambling bluesman, king of the animals, and all-around steady-rolling man-was wailing from the joint’s makeshift band-stand, breaking a sweat that was slowly turing the road dust clinging to his clothing into think river-bottom mud. The crowd packed the dance floor. Over in a corner, the heat got the better of Elder Brown, who was so drunk that he kept trying to pick a fight. At the bar, the music and the scene so bemused the undercover cop that he flashed his badge in front of the locals. A few began looking around wildly, trying to spot the nearest exit, but most of them ignored the provocation. “Stomp it down to the bricks,” they yelled, and Orpheus obliged by shaking the roadhouse into a low-down groove. Pythagoras heard the commotion from the blacksmith’s shop nearby, and added to it with hammers, tongs, anvils, the clarity of the resulting harmonic ratios ringing out like a metallic music of the spheres.

Out back of the smithy, an immense high-tension stepdown transformer hummed and pulsed an oceanic 60-cycle drone. La Monte Young, who had been sitting cross-legged on the ground, his consciousness wholly immersed in the sound of the transformer, slowly got to his feet, hearing everything- Orpheus, Pythagoras, the rhythmic stomping that was shivering the roadhous timbers, the transformer’s robust whine. He checked the clamorous machine shop next door, satisfying himself that the stampers and drill presses were all perfectly in tune, and then strode purposefully toward the roadhouse. The machine shop’s drone harmonized beautifully with the other sounds Young was hearing; monentarily, he seemed lost in thought. “This could be a really accurate tuning for Young’s Dorian Blues in G,” he mused, “with the blues 7:6 minor third B-flat reinforcing the fundamental harmonic resonance of the power grid…” He entered the roadhouse; in his biker jacket and leather gloves, with a purple bandana tied around his head, he fit right in. When Orpheus finally took a break and headed for the bar, Young approached him. “I’m recruiting musicians, ” he explained, “for this really bad blues band….”

Thus Robert Palmer envisions a mythical version of the formation of La Monte Young’s Forever Bad Blues Band. While the formation of this avant-garde ensemble was not quite so mystical, the music and La Monte Young’s reputation as a musical avant-garde godfather make this recording of La Monte Young’s Dorian Blues in G a must-have.

An excerpt:

The immeasurable space in the spirit

8 10 2009

The end of the Robert Wilson / Philip Glass “opera”, Einstein on the Beach

Man is an earthly star enveloped in a cloud, but a star is a heavenly man….

Therefore leaving behind the narrow confines of this shadow, return to yourself; for thus you will return to spaciousness. Remember that there is an immeasurable space in the spirit, but in the body one could say infinite constriction. This indeed you can see from the fact that numbers, which are akin to the nature of spirit, increase without limit but do not diminish; whereas there is a limit to the expression of the physical, to its contraction there is no limit.

-Marsilio Ficino, found in Meditations on the Soul