Frasi di Philip Glass

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Philip Glass

Data di nascita: 31. Gennaio 1937

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Philip Glass è un compositore statunitense.

Autore di musica contemporanea, è solitamente considerato tra i capofila del minimalismo musicale con Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Terry Riley, John Adams. Esaurito il periodo di massima produzione minimalista, contrariamente agli autori succitati, a parte forse Adams, si è progressivamente emancipato, scegliendo uno stile di più facile fruizione, postminimalista, meno rigoroso, e spesso volto verso la tradizione sinfonica americana.

Dagli anni ottanta ha preferito prendere le distanze dal termine, mantenendo nel suo stile una forma iterativa, ma ampliando al massimo le possibilità espressive offerte dalla tonalità, e accogliendo sempre più suggestioni dalle culture musicali extraeuropee, interesse del resto già manifestato all'inizio della carriera collaborando con il musicista indiano e compositore Ravi Shankar.

Tra le sue opere compaiono numerosi componimenti musicali di vario tipo, con una certa predilezione per le forme sceniche e le colonne sonore di diversi film e documentari. Celebre, in quest'ultima categoria, la serie di film realizzati da Godfrey Reggio a cavallo tra il 1983 e il 2003 e basati su profezie degli indiani Hopi, nota come "Trilogia Qatsi": lo stesso Glass ha portato in tournée anche in Italia concerti live in cui il suo ensemble esegue le musiche direttamente sulle immagini dei film

Ha collaborato con vari artisti della scena ambient e pop-rock .

Philip Glass è stato inoltre posizionato al numero 9 della Top 100 geni viventi stilata nel 2007 dalla rivista inglese "The Telegraph" .

Frasi Philip Glass

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„Una volta mi tiravano le uova.“

— Philip Glass
citato in Corriere della Sera, 16 novembre 1999

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„When I work with Godfrey, I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the image. I look at it once. Maybe twice, but not more than twice. Then I depend on the inaccuracy of my memory to create the appropriate distance between the music and the image. I knew right away that the image and the music could not be on top of each other, because then there would be no room for the spectators to invent a place for themselves. Of course, in commercials and propaganda films, the producers don’t want to leave a space: the strategy of propaganda is not to leave a space, not to leave any question. Commercials are propaganda tools in which image and music are locked together in order to make an explicit point, like “Buy these shoes” or “Go to this casino.”
The strategy of art is precisely the opposite. I would describe it this way: When you listen to a piece of music and you look at an image at the same time, you are metaphorically making a journey to that image. It’s a metaphorical distance, but it’s a real one all the same, and it’s in that journey that the spectator forms a relationship to the music and the image. Without that, it’s all made for us and we don’t have to invent anything. In works like Godfrey’s, and in works, for that matter, like Bob Wilson’s, the spectators are supposed to invent something. They are supposed to tell the story of Einstein. In Godfrey’s movies Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, the words in the title are the only words there are. The journey that we make from the armchair to the image is the process by which we make the image and the music our own. Without that, we have no personal connection. The idea of a personal interpretation comes about through traversing that distance.“

— Philip Glass

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„In one of our early conversations, Bob said to me, "I like Einstein as a character, because everybody knows who he is." In a sense, we didn't need to tell an Einstein story because everybody who eventually saw our Einstein brought their own story with them. In the four months that we toured Einstein in Europe we had many occasions to meet with our audiences, and people occasionally would ask us what it "meant." But far more often people told us what it meant to them, sometimes even giving us plot elucidation and complete scenario. The point about Einstein was clearly not what it "meant" but that it was meaningful as generally experienced by the people who saw it.
From the viewpoint of the creators, of course, that is exactly the way it was constructed to work. Though we made no attempt at all to tell a story, we did use dramaturgical devices to create a clearly paced overall dramatic shape. For instance, a "finale" is a dramaturgical device; an "epilogue" is another. Using contrasting sections, like a slow trial scene followed by a fast dance scene, is a dramaturgical device, and we used such devices freely. I am sure that the absence of direct connotative "meaning" made it all the easier for the spectator to personalize the experience by supplying his own special "meaning" out of his own experience, while the work itself remained resolutely abstract.
As to the use of three visual schemes, or images, Bob often mentioned that he envisioned them in three distinct ways: (1) a landscape seen at a distance (the Field/Spaceship scenes); (2) still lifes seen at a middle distance (the Trial scenes); and (3) portraits seen as in a closeup (the Knee Plays). As these three perspectives rotated through the four acts of the work, they created the sequence of images in an ordered scale.
Furthermore, the recurrence of the images implied a kind of quasi-development. For example, the sequence of Train scenes from the Act I, scene 1 Train, to the "night train" of Act II and finally the building which resembled in perspective the departing night train, presented that sequence of images in a reductive order (each one became less "train-like") and at the same time more focused and energized. The same process applies to the sequence of Trial scenes (ending with a bar of light representing the bed) as well as the Field/Spaceship, with the final scene in the interior of the spaceship serving as a kind of apocalyptic grand finale of the whole work. Each time an image reappeared, it was altered to become more abstract and, oddly enough, more powerful. The way these three sequences were intercut with each other, as well as with the portrait-scale Knee Plays, served to heighten the dramatic effect.“

— Philip Glass, Opera On The Beach

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