Philip Glass is back later this summer to the Hollywood Bowl to play along with the film Powaqqatsi. That work is not as good as Koyaanisqatsi, of course, but it's tough to top blowing up old buildings (hmm, the original Pruit Igoe video no longer on YouTube:
I'm not sure I like the use of Pruit Igoe from Koyaanisqatsi for a car commercial.
On the other hand, the original movie used the music during depictions of urban blight and destruction...
A reminder that Philip Glass will be appearing with the LA Philharmonic and LA Master Chorale at the Hollywood Bowl on July 23rd playing a new arrangement for ensemble and orchestra of Koyannisqatsi.
And here's a Koyaanisqatsi remix I wouldn't necessarily recommend although parts of it are mind-bending...
Philip Glass Image via Wikipedia
Andrew Sullivan's mental health post reminds me that it's the music by Philip Glass that makes the (somewhat similar) film technique of Koyaanisqatsi so powerful, not that I don't also appreciate Erik Satie.
And for that matter, llife may be "out of balance" in more cities than just Los Angeles.
Image via Wikipedia
Not sure when I became a Philip Glass fan boy but since I've assumed that role...
In July, the Hollywood Bowl has the LA Philharmonic and the Philip Glass Ensemble playing (and presumably showing) a new arrangement of Koyannisqatsi.
No idea what this version will be like but I'll vouch for the live performance of Koyaanisqatsi I heard in Berkeley circa 1993. Also, the Philip Glass Ensemble torched Davies Symphony Hall in their recent performance of Music in Twelve Parts (have I mentioned I'm still obsessed?).
I'd link to lala's Koyaanisqatsi tracks but frankly, today starts my much-needed spring break week and Phil seems to do fine without me.
I think this is the first time I've taken a week off in spring since the early first term of Reagan. Anyway, the vacation so far consists of David Lang (How to Pray), Junior Wells, and Corey Dargel ("I will stop listening to so much NPR...my voice in your head...unflagging nagging...break your arm again" etc.).
On Sunday, we'll go out with the local eighty-seven-year old to dinner for a more traditional midwestern Easter celebration.
And later in the week, I take the local eight-year-old for two days at Disneyland in Anaheim and two hours at Amoeba in Hollywood. If all goes well, we will achieve happiness equality. Except for the drive ("no, sorry, just two more hours of John Cage and then we can listen to the Jonas Brothers. For 15 minutes. Hey look, it's the Buttonwillow exit.")
And as a former John Adams fanboy, I feel compelled to point out the St. Lawrence String Quartet plays the premiere of Adams' String Quartet at Stanford Sunday afternoon. Limited ticket availability, unfortunately.
Various link aggregators are reporting the full film version of Koyannisqatsi is up on Google Video. Not that I don't want you to stick around here at aworks but go to the Google page if you want to be able to see the video on a full (albeit pixellated) screen:
Have we finally achieved George Gilder's "bandwidth is free" prediction, circa 1993? And if so, is life more out of balance than ever?
In a stunt where violinist Joshua Bell goes undercover to play at a Washington D.C. metro station, a Washington Post journalist bemoans busy Americans who don't stop to notice and then points to an example of music that better fits the situation:
Not much has changed. Pop in a DVD of "Koyaanisqatsi," the wordless, darkly brilliant, avant-garde 1982 film about the frenetic speed of modern life. Backed by the minimalist music of Philip Glass, director Godfrey Reggio takes film clips of Americans going about their daily business, but speeds them up until they resemble assembly-line machines, robots marching lockstep to nowhere. Now look at the video from L'Enfant Plaza, in fast-forward. The Philip Glass soundtrack fits it perfectly.
Bell did earn about $40/hour, ignoring the one person who recognized him and gave a twenty. Although it is an awkward transaction, I try to tip street musicians. I suppose if someone were playing selections from Koyaanisqatsi, I'd just hand over my wallet.
The article has the point of view about how could all these people possibibly miss what was happening around them. But it also makes the argument about how context matters, in this case, what music best suits a Metro station. But context of course also influences the composer. So, does Bach ultimately belong to the religious and aristocratic? And is Philip Glass the Aaron Copland of our time?
youtube: koyaanisqatsi trailer grand theft auto trailer ice skating to joshua bell playing corigliano's red violin. post article via david schmaltz's mastering project work email list.
In this outrageous Huffington Post post (incongruously appearing with ads from classmates.com and Kaiser Permanente), Stan Goff makes radical recommendations to the people of the world, including this imperative:
(5) Boycott American cultural products. They are propaganda aimed at turning your children into mindless consumers and your nations into obedient colonies.
Although I admittedly live in a self-imposed and narrow American music enclave, this blog doesn't aspire to hegemony over the wider world. Sure, in a small way, aworks does highlight for consideration particular cultural artifacts from a particular geopolitical entity. But I assume people are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.
The Lincoln Center just presented the Philip Glass Ensemble accompanying the film trilogy Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi. The Qatsi trilogy website here via L'atielier olij. Recent comments on Koyaanisqatsi...
“Koyaanisqatsi,” which was shot during the nineteen-seventies and released in 1983, is the masterpiece in the series, and a singular event in film history. There is no more potent example of a score dominating a film...an awesomely dispassionate vision of the human world, beautiful and awful in equal measure.. Alex Ross in the New Yorker.
Mr. Glass's music, though, changed greatly from film to film, and in each score he explored new ground. In ''Koyaanisqatsi,'' he moved from the abstractions of additive process, which yielded works like ''Music in 12 Parts'' and ''Einstein on the Beach,'' to what was then an uncharacteristically lush, even neo-Romantic sound. Allan Kozinn in the New York Times.
Koyaanisqatsi is the most amazing movie I’ve ever seen, a perfect marriage of visuals and sound. It’s single-handedly responsible for the Philip Glass wing of my CD collection. dorkus mallorkus (URL not work-safe).
Sidenote: The word "Koyaanisqatsi" is a Hopi Indian noun for "life out of balance; crazy life; life in turmoil; life disintegrating; a state of life that calls for another way of living"...I like that last one...it's holds more promise than the one before it...double laters... CeeP
This movie is full of great imagery to be used for video backgrounds and what-not. Especially useful are the time-lapse cloud shots and the flowing water shots. Jesse Anderson on Faith Creative.
The soundtrack is actually a constant, haunting, apocalyptic chant in the Hopi dialect which fits perfectly with the visual images shown. taz on confessions of a serial slacker
Alex Ross has written a long and skinny, yet deep and interesting, article about movie scores throughout history with an emphasis on Philip Glass' score to Koyaanisqatsi. I actually managed to fall asleep during a performance by the Philip Glass Ensemble of the score to the same movie...never have been a huge fan of Mr Glass. Interesting article none the less. akvarium
Me, I'm still on my year-long time-out from watching the film (and which, I suppose, also includes not closely reading the Alex Ross article) so I can better assess if the music stands on its own. The answer is presumably yes, given how dramatic it is.
Apologies for the link.