We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am grateful that Mrs. BD dragged me to see Einstein on the Beach on its world tour in 1992, at the BAM (for those of you in Yorba Linda, that's the Brooklyn Academy of Music).
Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, with dancer/choreographer Lucinda Childs, decided to call it an opera, but it really was a spectacle, and, with all of the repetition, choruses, and dancing, something like Greek theater with technology. I have grown to sort-of enjoy the Glass music in this, but it just drives some people crazy. It's a sound track, really.
The whole thing is hypnotically slow-moving (and it was over 5 hrs, no intermission, and people were welcome to come and go. We stayed, except for bathroom breaks - and they sold wine in the lobby.). There exist audio recordings, but, I believe, no video recordings of the whole thing. Video does not do justice to theatrical productions. You had to be there to be in the dream.
One snippet of video - you can search on YouTube it to hear more of Glass' music for the show:
Addendum, by complete coincidence I see that the Met is celebrating Glass' 75th birthday with “Satyagraha.” Wierd coincidences: I posted a Tagore poem this morning, mentioned Robert Wilson in a photo post yesterday, and stumbled on the news of that Philip Glass/Tagore opera today after preparing the above post.
The more you get out and about, the more fascinating life gets. Everybody needs to get out more, I guess. Possessions are expensive: cool life experiences are cheap by comparison.
Glass attended U of Chicago, majoring in math, I believe. then to Julliard, then to Paris to study piano with Boulanger. then to India, after which he developed his method of composition.
He really is creating a new art form, which includes the visual.
He performed with his group for the Renoir film La Belle et le bete and les infants terrible (?). The film is run with the sound off. Beneath the film, singers sing the words spoken above and around them, Glass's ensemble plays. It does have an hypnotic effect and after time, seems as if the music and words come from the (silenced) film.
"Einstein On the Beach" is being performed at the Power Center on the campus of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday, January 20. The offspring is flying from Atlanta to see it for the second time. I stream Philip Glass music via Pandora early every morning while mixing paint for the day's work. It is a very good accompaniment for tasks where over-thinking and second guessing can be poisonous because it seems to put one's mind on a plane beyond that sort of thing. I saw the documentary on Glass's life and found him personally loathsome. I will go out on a limb and say that I love most of his music.
I have never seen it, although I do own the Nonesuch recording and have listened to it several times.
I look at it this way - it is a combination of post beat post bohemian pre-new age/new wave musings of a pretentious passive/aggressive minimalist composer on steroids.
I like sections of it as it has a certain quality that is very similar to what is called the space or ambient music genres. Glass, accidentally in my opinion, built a similar construct of spacial imagery and tonality that provided the initiation of the more modern psychonautic listening phenomenon most associated with space/ambient music. I really think that is the attraction of "Einstein on The Beach" - it is a precursor of the meditative side of New Age/Ambient type of contemplative spaciousness in music.
I honestly don't think I could sit through an entire performance though - I'd go nuts after about 45 minutes. :>)