Philip Glass is “Glassic” Sep 24, 2013

I am a rickety man... I am a wobbly man. I am not so hot. I think there may very well be something a matter with my liver and senses, but I do not care the least about it and I see no point in confronting a doctor for a formal diagnosis. My tympanic membranes, my eyes, along with my hearing canals are bleeding because Miley Cyrus and Madonna are assaulting the charts; Kanye West has jailed his fan base's sense of sight behind bars (with his infamously barred sunglasses), and the music industry has made a sex idol out of a twelve-year-old boy. I am too old for this generation.

That being said, I do know a couple of good artists out there, still alive and original. Real, genuine, authentic artists! With soul and much talent I might add.

Philip Glass is the one name that comes to mind when I think of an original, modern artist. It is surprising how unheard he is considering the fact that he has helped gain popularity for “minimalism”, a genre sprouted from New York; has composed more than twenty operas, eight symphonies, violin and piano concertos, and has won and been nominated for numerous awards.

The main hurdle between Philip Glass as a mere composer and world-renowned genius is that his songs are often far too lengthy, intimidating and unsuitable for radio hosts. For this exact reason in 1982 did Philip Glass release “Glassworks,” a piece of chamber music intended to make himself a dinner-table name, give himself a widened fan base and add to his repertoire a record with fewer and shorter songs.

The album is filled of six songs entitled “Opening”, “Floe”, “Islands”, “Rubric”, “Facades”, and “Closing”. These six tracks are fulfilled by ways of flute, saxophone, horns, clarinet, viola, cello, synthesizer, and piano.

Despite the first impression the album may give through the first couple bars, or perhaps through the first initial listen, Glassworks is very expansive and optimistic in tone. It’s collection of sequences, verses and choruses alternate between rather depressed and moody atmospheres to high-hoped and airy moods. The album progresses with a gentle slide and ethereal touch through each unique track, with two tracks, “Floe,” and “Rubric,” changing the album's pace from a generally peaceful, quiet chamber, to a more bombastic and explosive display of mingling and interweaving instruments.

This is music that demands an intermittence of isolation, some time on your hands, and the mindset to think. It is not a classic you would necessarily choose to listen to in order to get pumped up and aggressive, nor something you'd put on for guests, nor would it even be something to frolic in cornfields to. It is music for rainy days and for contemplation. For meditation and for a good substitute of your scratched “Vulgar Display of Power,” CD stuck inside your mp3 walkman, any work by Phillip Glass is the ultimate choice for an excellent music experience.

By: Justin Speers

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