Friday Song: Philip Glass
One reason to love Los Angeles is the fact that I can go a mile up the street to the iconic Hollywood Bowl and for 10 dollars, see 1982’s KOYAANISQATSI (“Life out of balance”) with the famous score performed live by the Philip Glass Ensemble and the LA Philharmonic. Glass is undoubtedly my favorite modern composer, and whenever somebody bags on me for liking him, I glibly reply that I just love the notes he repeats over and over. He’s worked in all fields of sound, from co-writing with Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, to interpreting David Bowie and Brian Eno’s work, to operas with Allen Ginsberg and Robert Wilson. His soundtrack for MISHIMA is also a masterpiece.
I saw Glass way back in 1995 when he toured his amazing version of Cocteau’s LA BELLE ET LA BETE, and it was great to see him at the Hollywood Bowl, especially since it was the first time he’s ever performed there. And though I’ve watched Godfrey Reggio’s amazing KOYAANISQTASI about 15 times, seeing it with live voice and orchestra under the spotlight cut night sky was a transcendant revelation. We gave Philip Glass and the musicians a deserved standing ovation and after the concert, I felt that my life had been briefly put back into balance. Here’s Glass playing “Knee Play 4,” a gorgeous solo piece from “Einstein On The Beach” that he included in the show last night.