philip glass

Content tagged as philip glass.

Philip Glass: Music from the film The Illusionist (Elite)

Philip Glass: Music from the film The Illusionist (Elite)

A lot of soundtracks don't stand up outside of the movie, but Glass' distinctive orchestrations, melodic repetitions and tension-release style work for me (almost) every time, and they certainly do for this film by writer/director Neil Burger. Given the dramatic suspense and subject matter in the film (magic. mystery, love) this soundtrack...

Wolfert Brederode, Currents (ECM/Ode)

Wolfert Brederode, Currents (ECM/Ode)

Minimalism may have run its course but there are pieces on this appealing album by pianist Brederode (and group) which find a romantic heart within the steady pulse. Brederode and his band -- Claudio Puntin on clarinets, Mats Eilertsen on double bass and drummer Samuel Rohrer -- represent a new generation for the ECM label which is now...

Atlas Sounds: Let the Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel (Rhythmethod)

Atlas Sounds: Let the Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel (Rhythmethod)

This is either a strange coincidence or some weird serendipity -- but this solo album by Brandford Cox of the Atlanta band Deerhunter sounds like it has been made after he eavesdropped on my listenings in the past few weeks: a bit of JPSE's widescreen fuzzypop from Bleeding Star as filtered through Fripp & Eno's tonal landscapes, plus a...

DAVID BOWIE INTERVIEWED (1993): Black tie, white noise and the duke bounces back

DAVID BOWIE INTERVIEWED (1993): Black tie, white noise and the duke bounces back

David Bowie is a pain. Or more correctly perhaps, “his people” are. Eighteen months ago, when he was keen to plug his uneven, already forgotten but not uninteresting Tin Machine II album (the follow-up to what we might have charitably called “a side project” in a long career) he was a pushover. Oh, just wait...

THE CHANGING CULTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC: Real world murder in the house

THE CHANGING CULTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC: Real world murder in the house

When the recording of Robert Moran’s new opera was released in '94 there was an almost predictable ripple of controversy in the more staid sections of the classical world. And not because this dark, disconcerting piece offered no conventional narrative structure, that one of the performers was proto-punk Iggy Pop (who spoke his part...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE DVDs 2008 Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution (DVD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE DVDs 2008 Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution (DVD)

Not only does this excellent overview of the German electronic scene come in at a whopping and thorough three hours, but it also has good timing: it is released just as Kraftwerk make a rare return appearance in New Zealand. This ambitious (but not officially sanctioned) look at Kraftwerk's place in the techno-cosmos places the group within...

Lucky Dragons: Dream Island Laughing Language (Mistletone)

Lucky Dragons: Dream Island Laughing Language (Mistletone)

Hmmm, interesting and definitely not for everyone as this LA group (with a very flexible line-up) strip things right back to primitive music-making (handclaps, simple percussion, shakers, flutes, wordless vocal chants) and then edit the results into spare "pieces" which have a neatly minimalist quality. They aren't averse to...

STEVE REICH INTERVIEWED (1990): The maximal minimalist

STEVE REICH INTERVIEWED (1990): The maximal minimalist

American composer Steve Reich finishes telling of his new work – an enormous three-years-in-the making multi-media project – and then reflects on the austerity of his early music which enraged audiences two decades ago. “Yeah, it’s easy to see backwards and how all these new things came from that early stuff –...

LA MONTE YOUNG: The master of minimalism, and more

LA MONTE YOUNG: The master of minimalism, and more

When John Cale went to New York from Wales in the early 60s it wasn’t with the intention of meeting up with Lou Reed to form the Velvet Underground, but to study under a pianist/composer who had literally been “born in a log cabin” in the small community of Bern, Idaho. By the late Sixties that composer, La Monte Young, was...

STEVE REICH'S CAREER CONSIDERED: From taxi driver to concert master

STEVE REICH'S CAREER CONSIDERED: From taxi driver to concert master

It’s a rare composer who can simultaneously alienate and enthral distinct sections of an audience:  Igor Stravinsky unintentionally managed it in 1913 when he premiered The Rite of Spring before an outraged crowd and there were fistfights in the aisles of the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, and so did Alban Berg the same year in Vienna...

Kronos Quartet: Floodplain (Nonesuch/Warners)

Kronos Quartet: Floodplain (Nonesuch/Warners)

For more than 30 years the Kronos Quartet have been innovators, rarely looking back or playing pieces more than a few times, always on the lookout for contemporary material and daring projects. They have recorded with John Zorn and Allen Ginsberg, played material by Jimi Hendrix, Terry Riley, the remarkable Inuit singer Tagaq,...

Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi (1983)

Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi (1983)

There are few things more depressing than observing a revolution become a style (or the Beatles’ Revolution become a Nike ad). Or to witness innovation morph into cliché. When director Godfrey Reggio’s innovative film Koyaanisqatsi appeared in the early Eighties it had an immediate impact on popular music and film culture....

Jaga Jazzist: One Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune/Border)

Jaga Jazzist: One Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune/Border)

In which our Norwegian big band of jazz-and-elsewhere players borrow heftily from all comers (epic soundtracks and European art films, minimalists, Afrobeat, jazz-rock) and deliver something of a quilt of jazzy colours. They say it is "Zappa-esque, more humorous prog-rock" but in its scale and changing moods, much of it...

GLASS, A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS, a documentary by SCOTT HICKS (Madman DVD)

GLASS, A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS, a documentary by SCOTT HICKS (Madman DVD)

In his insightful, provocative and usefully gossipy book The Rest is Noise (2007), the writer and critic Alex Ross took a free-wheeling survey of 20th century classical music and addressed why the damn stuff had become so difficult for "modern" audiences. As with jazz -- which lost its populist mandate when free form arrived and...

Steve Reich: It's Gonna Rain (1965)

Steve Reich: It's Gonna Rain (1965)

Sampling, found sound, loops and tape manipulation are commonplace these days -- but back in '65 this piece by minimalist Steve Reich (interviewed here) anticipated a whole style of experimental music. And as with John Lennon -- who allegedly put the tape of the Beatles' b-side Rain backwards into his home player and loved the strange sound...

Various Artists: 135 Grand Street New York 1979 (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Various Artists: 135 Grand Street New York 1979 (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

New York's short-lived No Wave movement was sort of punk with pretention: the untutored would collide with instruments, throw up "art statements" or aggressive political and/or social views, and appealed to an alarmingly small audience of like-minded people. Lydia Lunch is credited with the first using the term to describe bands...

ABSOLUTE WILSON, a documentary by KATHARINA OTTO-BERNSTEIN (Southbound DVD)

ABSOLUTE WILSON, a documentary by KATHARINA OTTO-BERNSTEIN (Southbound DVD)

Choreographer Robert Wilson is one of those rare individuals who can dress a stage to look like a private dream inspired by the stillness of a Rene Magritte paiting or a mad cabaret populated by frogs and floating chairs. Either way, at a glance you can spot a Wilson design. They are idiosyncratic, unique, often visionary, sometimes...

The Chemical Brothers: Further (Parlophone)

The Chemical Brothers: Further (Parlophone)

And in this further installment, our heroes effect a blend of Barrett-era Floyd (given a techno twist) and Baba O'Reilly-meets-Pseudo Echo (on the soundstage of Bladerunner) then set their control to the heart of dancefloor synthedelic music. Add some pure pop vocals out of the Brian Wilson school with a few nods to Kraftwerk's Motorik beats...

Annemarie Duff: Music for Sleep and Creativity (Mmdelai)

Annemarie Duff: Music for Sleep and Creativity (Mmdelai)

Because I confess a love for Brian Eno's ambient music -- and that what I call "massage music" isn't unfamiliar in my home (my wife does massage) -- I have heard my share of music which can be either vacuous or beguiling . . . and there's a fine line betweeen them. New Age spawned a lot of music which was also neither, it just was....

MICHAEL NYMAN INTERVIEWED (1993): Play us a film, piano man

MICHAEL NYMAN INTERVIEWED (1993): Play us a film, piano man

For director Jane Campion to have as noted a composer as Michael Nyman to score the soundtrack for her film The Piano was as simple as a phone call. From his home in Toulouse, Nyman -- whose extensive career is best known for his soundtracks to Peter Greenaway films – acknowledges that he knew Campion’s previous films...

Darkstar: North (Hyperdub/Southbound)

Darkstar: North (Hyperdub/Southbound)

By happy coincidence I mistook this band's name for that of a prog outfit I was once curious about -- maybe if I had heard the words "dubstep electronia" (which is how they are sometimes described) I might not have so enthusiastically pulled it out of the pile. Not that prog is my thing, but the Darkstar I was thinking about had a...

Arthur Russell: Another Thought (1985)

Arthur Russell: Another Thought (1985)

Curiously, it has only been in recent years that the British music press "discovered" Arthur Russell. But maybe not so curious: Russell died of Aids-related illnesses in '92 and although he left behind literally many hundreds of reels of recordings (everything from disco through experimental pop to Russell singing with just his cello...

POINT MUSIC (1992-2002): A decade of delivering new music

POINT MUSIC (1992-2002): A decade of delivering new music

In many ways Rory Johnston looked exactly what he was, the vice-president of A&R (artists and repertoire) of a contemporary classical music label. It was there in the high, broad forehead and clear eyes, in the modulated speech and the vocabulary which didn't shy from a polysyllable or two. When I met him in the mid Nineties in...

Brian Eno and David Byrne: The Jezebel Spirit (1981)

Brian Eno and David Byrne: The Jezebel Spirit (1981)

When the Brian Eno and David Byrne album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts appeared in 1981, the musical, social and cultural climate was very different. Hip-hop had yet to establish the widespread use of sampling (although of course there had been artists who had used the technique), and the idea of a beat-driven album by two intellectual boffins...

JOHN PSATHAS, 21st CENTURY MAN: The helix of creativity

JOHN PSATHAS, 21st CENTURY MAN: The helix of creativity

It seems entirely fitting that the final piece on New Zealand composer John Psathas' new album Helix should be dedicated to Jack Body, a composer like Psathas who has always looked outward as much as inward for his inspiration. Body has found source material in Indonesia and in his tribute Waiting:Still, Psathas pairs the spare piano figures...

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAMOUS COMPOSERS (Time Life/Shock DVD)

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAMOUS COMPOSERS (Time Life/Shock DVD)

Myth making and hype attached itself to Beethoven at an early age. When he was eight his father -- a boozer -- presented him at a recital as being just six in order to pass him off as a child prodigy like Mozart. Not that Ludwig needed much help in the prodigy stakes. And although he was a genius, it wasn't without a struggle and...

HAIL BOP! A PORTRAIT OF JOHN ADAMS, a doco by TONY PALMER (Voiceprint DVD)

HAIL BOP! A PORTRAIT OF JOHN ADAMS, a doco by TONY PALMER (Voiceprint DVD)

Early in this insightful 100 minute portrait of the American composer John Adams by Tony Palmer, Adams cites Milton Babbitt's article Who Cares If You Listen? and being struck by the cavalier attitude of many composers who knew they had no audience and had created a mindset which "basically said 'Screw you'." "I remember...

Tags related to philip glass