glass notes
Conductor Brad Lubman on the Heroes Symphony

Tell me your backgroung with this piece and Philip Glass's music in general:

I was a percussionist with the American Composers Orchestra for a while and I got a call to for the recording of Heroes Symphony.  We rehearsed it at the Masonic Temple in New York and performed for a private audience. However, when it came to the recording, it was done at the Looking Glass Studios (where things were recorded sectionally) and they decided to use only one percussionist.

My involvement with Philip's music now includes performances of The Hours with the Chicago Symphony MusicNOW, later pairing it with Symphony No.3 in New York, the NY Premiere of Glassworks, Music in Similar Motion, and the world premiere of Icarus: At the Edge of Time with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at the World Science Festival last year.

Tell me about your feelings towards the Heroes Symphony.

The thing is, I love this piece.  I find it very interesting.  But I had never heard the original Bowie/Eno record Heroes.  I had heard later the Aphex Twin remix morphed up version of part of the Glass symphony with Bowie's vocals.  So jump ahead, and I've been studying it getting ready for performance and I listened to the original material.  Philip doesn't just take a basic thing, a chord progression or melodic fragment, and orchestrate it.  Actually what he does, he takes little motivic material and develops it in his own way. Totally different from the original material. Even the orchestration is interesting. I think it's incredible and I'm delighted beyond belief to be doing it.

When did your relationship to Philip Glass's music start?

I've been listening to it for years! in the late-70's, my mother used to take out Einstein on the Beach from the library for weeks on end and it was played over and over in our house.  There are a lot of things I want to do. I'd love to do In the Upper Room, and Dracula (piano/orch.) We'll see what happens.


THE SYMPHONY NO.4 "HEROES" will be performed tomorrow and Saturday at the Society for Ethical Culture auditorium as part of Wordless Music. 


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