I'm working my way through the new recording, meanwhile, by eighth blackbird. Notable so far is Music in Similar Motion by Philip Glass. Prior recordings of the work sound dreamy and trippy compared to this version. It's more precisely rhythmic resulting in an insistent drive to the conclusion> In some ways, it's reminiscent of Fredric Rzewski's Coming Together (also recorded by the group on Cedille). All in all, a vivid version.
Vivien Schweitzer in an eighth blackbird concert review, wrote how Music in Similar Motion's:
...repetitions achieve a now-familiar, hypnotically chugging momentum
Tim Munro, of the group, blogs about playing for Philip Glass here.
You've always got to jump at the chance to hear Philip Glass (usually playing with the Philip Glass Ensemble) perform one of his iconic early works. This time, Glass will be playing the Bang on a Can Marathon this Sunday with a performance of Music in Similar Motion with the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
I'm in Boston this weekend and for a few minutes, I seriously considered heading down to NYC just to hear this.
By the way, today's photo is Picnic Point to Philip Glass Lake of the Woods, 30" x 34", acrylic on canvas, by Robert Genn.
Allan Kozinn reviews the new Philip Glass live recording by Brad Lubman and Signal, including Glassworks and Music in Similar Motion.
Despite the differences in length, Kozinn cites the similarities of Glassworks to Koyannisqatsi, also composed in the early eighties. His take on Music in Similar Motion:
Mr. Lubman and company also include a vigorous performance of “Music in Similar Motion” (1969), an intricate, mesmerizing work that makes “Glassworks” sound almost Neo-Romantic
It's no surprise that Music in Similar Motion is one of my favorite works by the composer since it is one of the most mesmerizing. Glass' description:
The real innovation in "Similar Motion" is its sense of drama. The earlier pieces were meditative, steady-state pieces that established a mood and stayed there. But "Similar Motion" starts with one voice, then adds another playing a fourth above the original line, and then another playing a fourth below the original line, and finally a last line kicks in to complete the sound. As each new voice enters, there is a dramatic change in the music.
The real innovation in "Similar Motion" is its sense of drama. The earlier pieces were meditative, steady-state pieces that established a mood and stayed there. But "Similar Motion" starts with one voice, then adds another playing a fourth above the original line, and then another playing a fourth below the original line, and finally a last line kicks in to complete the sound.
I didn't exactly plan it but this week I shuffled my Alter Ego MP3 of Music in Similar Motion,
I clicked on my ten cent purchased stream in lala, and then tonight counterstream radio programmed it (before the Joan Tower 70th birthday concert).
Music in Similar Motion is a forerunner of later
Philip Glass but could represent the apex of his career -- marginally more
sophisticated and colorful than the earlier, primitive stuff but not yet banal. Ok, that's hyperbole for "I really like this piece."
PERFORMANCE INSTRUCTIONS Each figure should be repeated an
indefinite number of times. The leader of the ensemble should, at his
or her discretion, nod once, indicating that the ensemble should repeat
the figure twice more before proceeding. Exceptions to this are
indicated, and last until the next indication.
repetition and to borrow a line from comedian George Carlin, if counterstream radio had a "repeat this track" button, I'd never leave