Music by Philip Glass

The world premiere of POWAQQATSI/LIVE! took place at Alice Tully Hall in July, 1990 as part of the Serious Fun! at Lincoln Center Festival.

The second of the Reggio/Glass “Qatsi” collaboration, Powaqqatsi showcases vanishing ways of life in the Southern Hemisphere.

Powaqqatsi is second part of the Godfrey Reggio / Philip Glass “Quatsi” trilogy. With a more global view than Koyaanisqatsi, Reggio and Glass’ first collaboration, Powaqqatsi examines life on our planet, focusing on the negative transformation of land-based, human-scale societies into technologically-driven, urban clones.

Powaqqatsi is about contrasting ways of life, and how the lure of technology and mega-cities are affecting small-scale indigenous cultures. The overall focus is on the people of the Third World and how they express themselves through work and traditions. It shows how “progress” is luring more and more people into a pattern of meaningless consumption in place of real values.

“Powaqqatsi,” says Reggio, “is an impression, an examination of how life is changing. That’s all it is. It’s deliberately non-judgmental. Audiences are free to make their own conclusions. The film emphasizes our unanimity as a global community.”

Pre-production began in September 1995 with a five month expedition in search of locations. The producers journeyed to ten countries on five continents, including Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, India, Hong Kong, Israel, France, Nepal and Berlin selecting both urban and rural locations to support the theme of Powaqqatsi.

Composer Philip Glass, went to Peru, Brazil and West Africa to research and develop the score. It is a departure from his earlier works in the use of many indigenous instruments as well as a Hispanic children’s choir, and the integration of African, Latin, Indian and Middle Eastern rhythms. Over 90 musicians and singers were involved in the recording of the score.

Dunvagen Music Publishers



GlassJukebox on Nonesuch
Philip Glass Ensemble Live in Monterrey, Mexico on Orange Mountain Music
Naqoyqatsi on Sony Classical
Philip on Film on Nonesuch
Powaqqatsi on Nonesuch
The Truman Show on Milan Records
Voices - for Didgeridoo & Organ


Looking Glass by √Čric Darmon
Powaqqatsi by Godfrey Reggio
The Truman Show by Peter Weir


Film Music Screencraft by Mark Russell


Film, WorldMusic