Minimalism, Part 1 of 4
I got an email from my nephew the other day. He read my profile where it says I like Philip Glass and wanted to know what my favorite Glass pieces were. I’ve been meaning to write about my favorite minimalist composers for quite some time since their music inspired me in the way religion inspires others.
I remember the day I first tuned into minimalism. I was driving my Subaru Brat South on Route 17. I had just passed the Ridgewood exit when the sounds of the Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach blessed my speakers. It was being broadcast on WBAI. I had a destination, but I just kept driving for hours as the opera played on. When it was over I went into Sam Goody and walked out with the box set on Tomato Records. I think I spent nearly a month listening constantly to each side. I was reborn.
Soon I had tickets in my hand to see it performed live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The opera was over three and a half hours in length.
Since then I’ve become nearly as enamored with several of he other operas and appreciate his other work strongly, but nothing can top my first love of Einstein on the Beach. If you look at the Glass discography there seems to be thousands of recordings. His music turns up in so many films and even commercials. I failed to keep up with all of his stuff, but I still pop in my ear buds from time to time and listen to my favorite operas.
There is a remarkable video linked here of the abbreviated story of the production of the opera.