glass notes
Days & Nights Festival: Year 2; The Sound of a Voice UK premiere

Philip Glass takes his show back to the Big Sur/Carmel area of Northern California for year two of his festival.  It can be said that year one was perhaps more abmitious, however there are some interesting things on offeri including a screening of Koyaanisqatsi including a discussion with its director Godfrey Reggio, who is currently collaborating with Glass on his new film The Holy See. Additionally, old friends Foday Musa Suso and Philip Glass get together for an intimate show in Carmel at the Sunset Center.

Flying under the radar this week was the UK premiere of The Sound of a Voice by the enterprising Grimeborn (gotta love British names) Festival  in the Arcola Tent.  It seems to have been well received by the press (a scandalous lapse in journalistic integriry as far as the UK critics usually go) by both the Guardian and the London Evening Standard.

I saw the premiere run in Cambridge Mass. back in 2003.  I think it's an interesting piece to come out of that period in Glass' compositional life.  Glass' film career went into the stratosphere at that time, yet he still crafted the time to write this piece.  It's one of his "pocket operas," like In the Penal Colony which skirt the line between a simple theater work and an opera. Indeed, The Sound of a Voice and its companion piece are as close to Sprechstimme that Glass ever wrote, sung over an orchestra of four (flute, cello, percussion and pipa).  Perhaps the lyricism is a product of those instruments (none really play chords in the piece) and an excellent text led Glass into unchartered terrirtory.



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