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Glass Houses: Celebrating Philip Glass at 85
September 23, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:15 pm EDT$15 – $20
Photo: Adam Tendler and Vicky Chow
The Village Trip partners with Victoria Bond and Cutting Edge Concerts to celebrate the legacy of ground-breaking composer Philip Glass.
Pianists Vicky Chow, Marilyn Nonken, Adam Tendler, Joan Forsyth, Emily Tong, and The Bond Trio (Pauline Kim Harris, violin; Chieh-Fan Yiu, viola; Coleman Itzkoff, cello) and others will pair Glass’s work with music that responds to the space he created. Homages, reactions – Ann Southam’s Glass Houses, Victoria Bond’s “Dancing on Glass”, Jonathan Dawe’s “Glass Harmonica” – plus works by Charles Wuorinen, Nico Muhly and Steve Reich.
“…what you hear depends on how you focus your ear. We’re not talking about inventing a new language, but rather inventing new perceptions of existing languages” – Philip Glass
From the East Village in the 1960s, composer Philip Glass turned the music world upside-down. Minimalist art and music reacted against the sheer difficulty of modernist practice, its density and complexity. Glass Houses: Celebrating Philip Glass at 85 both celebrates and explores the new space his work opened up – a space that brought new musical challenges.
Five new music pianists will pair a Glass piece with music composed in response – some inspired by and in synch with Glass’s work, some in reaction. The program will include Glass’s “Etudes”, “Metamorphoses”, and “In Memory of Charles Wuorinen” plus works by John Dawe, Ann Southam, Charles Wuorinen and Steve Reich.
7pm Prelude and performance by young artists from the Third Street Music Settlement School.
The main program begins at 7.30pm.
A reception with the artists follows the concert.
Philip Glass, Jonathan Dawe, Victoria Bond, Ann Southam, Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, Eve Beglarian, Yann Tiersen, Tristan Murail and Charles Wuorinen
For composer Ann Southam (Glass Houses), early Glass was a revelation and an invitation to create something new – the collection Glass Houses combines the Glass aesthetic with Reich’s processes of gradual changes, the Canadian fiddle tunes Southam had heard since childhood, and a luminosity all her own. She has said: “I was looking for a way of writing music that would have a feminist aesthetic, because what was thought of as feminist music back in those days was usually vocal music, and it would be the words that would give the feminist meaning. I wanted something where the very workings of the music would reflect a feminist aesthetic.”
Southam found that minimalist iterative compositions reminded her of “women’s work” – repetitive, monotonous tasks such as knitting and cleaning that nevertheless sustain life. She devoted her life to making music and making a difference – particularly when it came to advancing gender equality. She was a great supporter of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
Jonathon Dawe was a student of arch-modernist Milton Babbitt and is celebrated for his five brilliant operas, often unfolding through processes where Baroque harmonies are fractalized in several different ways. He wrote “Glass Harmonica” as a homage to Philip Glass – fractalized minimalism. It and Charles Wuorinen’s “Andante Espressivo” from the Sonata for Piano and Guitar were written for and premiered by Forsyth and Anderson, who perform the works on this program. Wuorinen and Glass were at artistic odds, at opposite poles of the New York musical landscape. So Glass’s “In Memory of Charles Wuorinen” is a grand gesture to a composer with whom he had very little in common.
Composer Victoria Bond’s commissions include the American Ballet Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Cygnus, Houston and Shanghai Orchestras, Cleveland and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestras, the American Opera Project and the Cassatt String Quartet. Performance highlights include the world premiere of Bond’s opera Clara at the Berlin Philharmonic Easter Festival; Mrs. President, performed by the New York City Opera, and The Miracle of Light premiered at Chamber Opera Chicago. Her compositions have been performed by the Dallas Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Irish National Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony and members of the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphonies.
Bond is Artistic Director of Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival, which she founded in 1998. She is a frequent lecturer at the Metropolitan Opera.
Born in Le Havre in 1947, Tristan Murail received advanced degrees in classical and North African Arabic from the École Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes, as well as a degree in economic science, while at the same time pursuing his musical studies. In 1967, he became a student of Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory, and also studied at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, graduating three years later. In 1971, he was awarded the Prix de Rome, and later received a First Prize in composition from the Paris Conservatory. He spent the next two years in Rome, at the Villa Medicis.
Upon returning to Paris in 1973, he co-founded the Ensemble L’Itineraire with a group of young composers and instrumentalists. The ensemble quickly gained wide recognition for its fundamental research in the area of instrumental performance and live electronics.
In the 1980s, Tristan Murail used computer technology to further his research in the analysis and synthesis of acoustic phenomena. He developed his own system of microcomputer-assisted composition, and then collaborated with Ircam for several years, where he taught composition from 1991 to 1997, and took part in the conception of the computer-assisted composition program “Patchwork”. In 1997, Tristan Murail was named professor of composition at Columbia University in New York, teaching there until 2010.
Again in Europe, he continued giving master-classes and seminars all over the world, was guest professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg for three years, and is currently guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory.
Yann Tiersen (born 23 June 1970) is a Breton musician and composer. His musical career is split between studio recordings, music collaborations and film soundtracks songwriting. His music incorporates a large variety of classical and contemporary instruments, primarily the electric guitar, the piano, synthesisers and the violin, but also instruments such as the melodica, xylophone, toy piano, harpsichord, piano accordion or even typewriter.
Tiersen is often mistaken for a soundtrack composer; as he is quoted about himself: "I'm not a composer and I really don't have a classical background," but his real focus is on touring and recording studio albums, which are often used for film soundtracks. Tracks taken from his first three studio albums were used for the soundtrack of the 2001 French film Amélie.
According to the New York Times, Eve Beglarian is a “humane, idealistic rebel and a musical sensualist.” A 2017 winner of the Alpert Award in the Arts for her “prolific, engaging and surprising body of work,” she has also been awarded the 2015 Robert Rauschenberg Prize from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts for her “innovation, risk-taking, and experimentation.”
Beglarian’s current projects include a collaboration with writer/performer Karen Kandel and writer/director Mallory Catlett about women in Vicksburg from the Civil War to the present; a piece about the controversial Balthus painting Thérèse Dreaming for vocalist Lucy Dhegrae; and a duo for uilleann pipes and organ that was premiered by Renée Louprette and Ivan Goff at Disney Hall as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Since 2001, she has been creating A Book of Days, “a grand and gradually manifesting work in progress… an eclectic and wide-open series of enticements” (Los Angeles Times).
Beglarian’s chamber, choral, and orchestral music has been commissioned and widely performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the American Composers Orchestra, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the California EAR Unit, the Orchestra of St Luke’s, loadbang, Newspeak, the Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble, and individual performers including Maya Beiser, Lara Downes, Lucy Dhegrae, and Thomas Feng.
Highlights of Beglarian’s work in music theater include music for Mabou Mines’ Obie-winning Dollhouse, Animal Magnetism, Ecco Porco, Choephorai, and Shalom Shanghai, all directed by Lee Breuer; Forgiveness, a collaboration with Chen Shi-Zheng and Noh master Akira Matsui; and the China National Beijing Opera Theater’s production of The Bacchae, also directed by Chen Shi-Zheng.
She has collaborated with choreographers including Ann Carlson, Robert LaFosse, Victoria Marks, Susan Marshall, David Neumann, Take Ueyama, and Megan Williams, and with visual and video artists including Cory Arcangel, Anne Bray, Vittoria Chierici, Barbara Hammer, Kevork Mourad, Shirin Neshat, Matt Petty, Bradley Wester, and Judson Wright. Performance projects include Brim, Songs from a Book of Days, The Story of B, Open Secrets, Hildegurls’ Ordo Virtutum, twisted tutu, and typOpera.