The movie Candyman itself and the rest of the songs in the score are also fantastic.
Heard about that song from the sample in Travis Scott's The Prayer .
Nothing weird at all. After I learned horse riding (focus: dressage) I started seeing horse-related stuff everywhere - horse carrying trailers on roads, shops, etc.
The "secret" is not some deep universe related mystery but your perception. Those horse-related things were there all along - I just never paid attention, my mind filtered it without any of it ever reaching my consciousness. Your mind filters out lots and lots of headlines when you scroll through the news or HN, your brain reacts when something is relevant.
That there has to be something relevant even if it's niche once in a while is not exactly shocking when HN goes through several dozens of headlines every single day. The site shows you so many diverse topics, it would be strange if you never have this experience.
You are making me think when my mom was obsessed with it, and she started to actively think of toasters (for whatever reason). There was an old school screensaver on probably a windows 2000ish computer that had the flying toasters she never noticed.
She was CONVINCED the universe changed on her and made that screensaver out of thin air, instead of the simple notion that she was now consciously trying to make herself aware of toasters, which is why she never really noticed it before. Sigh.
Another example of this effect: since taking a passing interest in the fairly niche Forth and Ada programming languages, I see them crop up on HN with surprising frequency.
My first introduction to Philip Glass was his Book of Longing collaboration with Leonard Cohen. If anyone hasn't heard this, I'd recommend you check it out on Spotify.
Really surprised nobody commented on this. Specifically, the magnitude of what he/she is saying - not just first comment on HN (43 month old account), but first on the internet.
It was a 'Holy cow' moment for me.
Hope you found it fruitful, pdevalla!
Just threw on my headphones and listened to it 5 times.
Interesting, I had no idea.
> Throughout this period, Glass supported himself as a New York cabbie and as a plumber, occupations that often led to unusual encounters. “I had gone to install a dishwasher in a loft in SoHo,” he says. “While working, I suddenly heard a noise and looked up to find Robert Hughes, the art critic of Time magazine, staring at me in disbelief. ‘But you’re Philip Glass! What are you doing here?’ It was obvious that I was installing his dishwasher and I told him I would soon be finished. ‘But you are an artist,’ he protested. I explained that I was an artist but that I was sometimes a plumber as well and that he should go away and let me finish.
'Glass understood that he had finally arrived as a composer when a woman tapped on the side of his cab and told him “you have the same name as a very famous composer.”
Anyhow, I didn't know that either about his life. Very fascinating.
As an aside I believe I discovered Einstein on the Beach after listening to Hydrogen Jukebox. I wonder how others come about listening to it for the first time. Especially those in their 30s like myself who were born a decade after its success.
I think a unique quality of it is the contrast between it's simplistic harmonic content and it's constantly modulating structure. The simplicity of the tonality (one key center, very slow chord changes, non-florid counterpoint) allows the listener to focus on the modulating phrase lengths and the texture of the stacked rhythms.
This is an interesting inversion of something like, say, a classic bebop tune, which might be melodically and rhythmically complex or divergent, but keep it's structure predictable with 4 bar, 8 bar, or 32 bar chunks of time.
I think the effect in it's fast movements is like being in the middle of a massive rush of water. It's uniform in texture, but it has an intensity and sense of turbulence that is overwhelming as it passes you.
It’s a wonderful experience with a nice pair of headphones. Something about the way the repetition lasts just long enough to produce a sense of anticipation and delight.
It seems that there may be a quality to his music that makes it well-suited to working.
Have to admit I was a little disappointed to find that wasn't part of the show.
The word "avant-garde" comes up not once in Philip Glass's Wikipedia article . The only uses of the word "experimental" are in reference to his early interest in experimental theater.
Philip Glass is easily the most popular, mainstream living music composer. His music is extremely "listenable," and inoffensive to the casual listener. Calling him avant-garde is a complete disservice to what he has actually accomplished in his career. It's more avant-garde to call Philip Glass avant-garde than his music is avant-garde.
>The word "avant-garde" comes up not once in Philip Glass's Wikipedia article The only uses of the word "experimental" are in reference to his early interest in experimental theater.
What's that meant to show? I opened the first four references on that Wikipedia article and all contained the phrase 'avant-garde':
>Philip Glass is an Oscar-nominated avant-garde composer whose notable works include 'Einstein on the Beach,' 'The Hours' and 'Notes on a Scandal.'
>Took the avant-garde mainstream, offering hope and inspiration to countless composer-followers.
>The project that would propel Glass from downtown New York notoriety to international stardom came in 1976 - an avant-garde music theatre collaboration with theatre visionary Robert Wilson"
OK, this one doesn't use the phrase in reference to Glass.
And fwiw, things change, language is emergent, words acquire and lose meaning based on how people use it, not the other way around.
In 1968, it was fair to call him an experimental composer and musician. In 2021, not so much, certainly no more than any composer who is alive and still trying to write new work.
So in those terms, Beethoven was at one point "avant-garde" in that his some of his compositions were so strikingly progressive compared to those of his contemporaries that they stood out. They were "at the front" of musical innovation in that sense.
John Cage started to compose music that intentionally and radically diverted from the trajectory of traditional western art music, so that was considered "avant-garde," although it was so influential, that I'd say much of it has become "canonized" in a way that performing it isn't really innovative of "edgy" in the way it was at it's original reception.
Today I think it's hard to pin down because there aren't really any established traditions that composers are breaking away from like they were at the cusp between the 19th and 20th centuries. I've seen and performed pieces for amplified fluorescent light bulbs, 4 screaming men in loin clothes, and for a solo performer articulating gestures in ASL to a pre-recorded musical track. None of it was scandalous, and some of it was quite good.
Glass’s music is maybe not consistently on the edge, but his avant-garde reputation comes from works like the “opera” Einstein On the Beach, which is a formidable listening and performing experience, even if it’s heavily diatonic and based on familiar major/minor modalities. It is a sui generis approach to musical structure and musical theater.
Glass' early minimalism makes EotB seem almost conventional by comparison, at least to me.
But, this isn't an article about Danny Elfman....
Clearly looking at his age he is already an elder. Nevertheless he definitely qualifies as avant- Garde. You can compose listenable pieces and be avant- garde
Calling any modern regurgitation of Glass's very-listenable minimalism "avant-garde" is misleading and shuts out the contemporary listener to an entire world of avant-garde music - much of it, very listenable.
I'm not convinced that someone simply using the word "avant-garde" shuts anyone out of anything.
For example, if I type "Taylor Swift is avant-garde" did this suddenly shut out listeners from an entire world of pop music?
I think that's reinforced by the anecdote from the original poster, though.
There's still a significant fraction of the audience who dismisses his work out of hand. Yes, they're shut out of even more stuff, but they aren't even open to him, yet.
I could see my mother being the upset person in the first story...
That was avant-garde, apparently.
Calling music by this term communicates a powerful judgment about its place in musical history. And it is simply, unavoidably incorrect. It has nothing to do with the music itself - it has to do with his musical process and how it jives with the basic musical environment of his time.
If the whole musical world were like John Cage, Philip Glass's works would definitely be avant-garde. But because the musical world is a lot more like Philip Glass, using the word "avant-garde" to describe his contributions is simply untrue.
I struggled and read a lot to understand the foundations of modern art. I found a lot of the intellectual constructions very unconvincing contrivances. I imagine I'd feel the same way about such compositions; an area in which I am certainly a neophyte
I don't think it would convince you to enjoy his work, but I found it to be a really good read, regardless!
Here's an Unplugged version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVjwEmzxy_w
Personal anecdote: I've managed to get invited to a small Einstein on the Beach play at The Greene Space NYC - I've been flying to NYC for business and this alone made my whole trip so much nicer. I remember him sitting 2 chairs away from me and the play was beautiful.
If you're curious, I strongly suggest watching
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts documentary about his life and career. What a man.
> No no no no no. Those divisions never healed. Those people just died! The people who don’t want you don’t change their minds. You outlive them, if you’re lucky. They’re all dead now, the older guys. The battle was never won or lost. The army just went away. What can I tell you? Isn’t that the truth? It’s biology. Nothing more than that. They’ve just gone away… and we carry on playing.
This seems true in so many things: politics, engineering approaches, even theology at times. Keep doing what you think is worthwhile, but don't expect to change the minds of the old guard: you "win" by having the newer generation accept your approach.
‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’
- Max Planck
Also see this link, for a study that tried to test/quantify this:
edit: heh, too slow - it was already posted in the few minutes I took to read the article
Some of Glass' work transposes well to other instruments, but a real extra gift to the world would be if he wrote a guitar suite.
I've been hacking around with a classical guitar arrangement of Pärt's "Spiegel im Spiegel," and might see if Glass' new "The Teacher" is more amenable, as it's very much an homage about 1/3 the length and complexity.
Here's one example which works very well IMHO.
Lavinia Meijer, Harp, Metamorphosis Four
they have recorded 4 of his quartets arranged for guitar
edit: Thomas Csaba performing the complete Metamorphosis : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMyQM589Kbs
(and incase you missed it, Hitler and Stalin deepfake lip-sync Video Killed the Radio Star https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DysigzGQvU )
String Quartet No.3: "Mishima": "Blood Oath"
String Quartet No.3: "Mishima": "1957: Award Montage"
Steve Reich seemed to want to also move towards more conventional narrative forms later in his career and seemed to sacrifice some of the elegance and purity to do so.
John Adams on the other hand came a generation later and those compromises always felt more natural and less forced for him.
(Terry Riley is the real maverick out of the original minimalists. He just does his own thing and damn everyone else. I had the pleasure of having a very brief chat with him after a concert and he was a lovely chap. I asked him about John Cale)
Also, judging from the name, OP is probably also a fan of Arvo Part. There is a moving “video etude” for the piece Healing of Arinushka that I would recommend if you’re feeling contemplative https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7exvD2nJG8
My favorite track was probably Nobukazu Takemura’s remix of Proverb https://youtu.be/-ipSM8bwo4M
Some crazy post-grad at Rutgers convinced enough colleagues to make it her performance piece a few years ago, and it was free to boot, so I drove a couple hours with a friend to see it. It’s great on recordings, and much cooler to be in the room with it live.
I’ve also recently come to love (especially the first half/performance of) Terry Riley’s Persian Surgery Dervishes. With just an organ and a delay pedal, he builds such a trancelike, subdued and dark yet pleasant mood.
IMO, an excellent first listen would be Tehillim. 
Steve Reich - Different Trains (Part 1)
Steve Reich: WTC 9/11 I. 9/11 Kronos Quartet
(ETA: Must have been two years ago as other memories flit in. That was an interesting year too because it was a year I saw two very different live versions of In C, which seems unusual to have occur twice in the same year.)
You might love or hate "Come Out" or "It's Gonna Rain", and hate or love "Different Trains". You might be entranced or utterly bored by "Six Marimbas" but be disinterested or engaged by "Music For Ensemble and Orchestra". etc. etc.
Best to plan on diving in about once a decade and see if you like what he was doing then. My suggestions would be:
60s: Come out
70s: Music for 18 Musicians
90s: Different Trains
00s: Double Sextet
Six Pianos / Six Marimbas
Music For 18 Musicians
Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ
For the adventurous, also check out the album "Shift" by Chris Hughes: renderings of various early Reich works (or ideas) using totally different timbres.
Those who have not heard Reich have not heard a lot of western art music, most likely. I went with the piece that is closest in form and style to the popular music of our time.
I apologize to other users here, for not having made that more clear in my post.
Works that transitioned from Baroque to Classical are often considered clunky by modern standards, but that's because they were trying new things. If those pioneers didn't experiment, we wouldn't have Mozart and Beethoven. (I do enjoy Baroque though.)
Keep experimenting, Mr. Glass!
To be fair musical tastes change over time; I found myself bored and restless relistening to some old Tangerine Dream favorites.
> No no no no no. Those divisions never healed. Those people just died!
Ain't that the truth!
The cool thing about (most of) the assholes being dead is that they didn't need to be correct in their various ideologies for their work to be meaningful, even for composers who work outside of a particular aesthetic.
So today you can have composers still engaging with and drawing upon the work of the assholes without having to deal with any of the negative side effects of interacting with them (verbal abuse, professional ostracization, etc.).
Take for example his "Opening" from Glassworks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2vRbNehGB0) is not that difficult to play once you get the hang of the polyrhythm, but it's difficult to understand why it works the way it works.
The theme that starts at 2:18 is just so typical for him (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU_uBDujLAE&feature=youtu.be...).
I do believe that he composes symphonies, they are just not so different from his other works.
I don't understand the business model of small films that withdraw from streaming completely, especially documentaries. Surely that can't be more profitable? I think about this question a lot while going through the dreck on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I think about all that work and knowledge and art just going silent and no one ever finding it or watching it again.
By "concert," I presume he meant "concerti." And indeed among my favorite pieces by him is his little-aclaimed first violin concerto.
> I think to this day its great background music for programming work
Philip Glass wrote his music to be heard in the concert hall. Very few people responding to this article have ever heard any of his works performed live. If people were to actually sit there and listen to his music as intended, the reaction to my post would be very different.
Sitting still and listening carefully is a dying practice. I would challenge anyone reading this to seriously ponder, "when was the last time I sat in silence and intently listened to a long-form musical work?"
Even during Mozart’s time, opera was such a social event that people complained you could hardly hear the music.
I’m all for careful listening, but we shouldn’t invalidate people who listen to Glass the way he intended.
We're all given a set of senses and a brain to explore the world in our own way. It will not be the same from one individual to the next. If some people are looking to be soothed by music, while others are looking to be stimulated, does that give one group an authority on taste over the other?
What the hell? I never made any such comment on the subjective experiences of listeners.
You can enjoy music and know it's "junk food." I like listening to plenty of bad music. I don't judge anyone for what they enjoy.
To call Philip Glass a master of his domain, a rightfully-celebrated contributor to Western art music, or any of this other crap - that's what I take issue with. Enjoy his music all you want - it's all available and in print, and his various corporate music labels make sure of that. Just don't mislead others who may actually take HN users at their word.
It was impossible to read your post as anything other than "I am a learned connoisseur and the unwashed masses are all fools".
But I've had as many (and honestly, more) arguments with "anti-contemporary music/art" folks about Berio and Feldman, for example. What is late Feldman doing compositionally? Just shifting around simple chords surrounded by loads of silence while stuffy audiences in turtlenecks nod sagely and compose tweets in their mind for later about how "serene and haunting" this performance was? (I love Feldman, for the record)
You have some bizarre chip on your shoulder, have given no reason for anyone to credit your critical opinions, and are generally showing bad taste and rude behaviour.
It's interesting how many people get pissed and come out of the woodwork when you mention this. Something deep within them is slighted or invalidated simply by the mere notion that they might be interacting with music sub-optimally ;)
For anyone else who likes Glass's piano work, you might like some pieces by Yann Tiersen or Erik Satie.
And then go find yourself any of the multiple-piano music by the Dutch composer Simeon Ten Holt. "Canto Ostinato" is the famous one, but "Incantante IV" is probably my favorite.
This article was nothing more than sponsored content for a contemporary artist who already has all of the success, publicity, and fandom he could ever need. By leveling him to a tier much closer to reality, and throwing out the names of much more accomplished and more musically-important 20th century composers, I hope to provide a counter-point to The Guardian, which is neither an authority on music nor the broader culture.
Those two are not necessarily exclusive. I enjoy some kinds of
songs as background music as well as by itself. Why would I
listen to background music that I wouldn't like otherwise?
> I hope to provide a counter-point to The Guardian, which is neither an authority on music nor the broader culture.
Neither are you. Or anyone else except the individual person
deciding what they want to listen to.
Would your opinion of his music be any different if you were alive when it came out? He is so influential that when you listen all you hear is a tired old style, which would never exist without him.
This short article covers some of his work including the second quartet from this perspective in slightly more detail:
But maybe it just makes it more obvious that these categories aren't particularly useful. I think it's interesting to talk about those early works in the 70s and compare them to minimalist art, like Judd's or Serra's sculptures or paintings by Sol Lewitt, Stella, etc., but it's just a component of a much broader conversation that needs to be based in listening first.
It's interesting to me that Glass' early music didn't really click for me until I had stood inside of one of Richard Serra's Bands sculptures at LACMA. It gave me a different mental (and metal, haha) framework to engage with the music through. That's probably why the Berio/Feldman comparison was so surprising to me in the first place, because I feel like the music from those composers both demand different kinds of engagement to find them enjoyable that Glass' early music, both as a listener and a performer.