glass notes
First Contact?

Towers_ny_state’twas many years now that I was first introduced to the
music of Philip Glass via a Greek friend of a friend who knew I appreciated
movie scores.  This event transpired in Providence R.I and the Greek’s name
was Thanasis.  He may have misspelled Phillip Glass and
Koyaniskqqatsy and of course this movie score was totally unlike those I
had been a fan of, and then there was an initial allergic reaction to the music which made me almost dismiss the whole thing. Then a short time after, I was further exposed, in a
college music appreciation class no less, to Glassworks. The rest, for
my part, is history.

Most people I talk to can clearly remember their first experience.  Please take the time to
leave a comment sharing your experience.

13 thoughts on “First Contact?”

  1. Two years ago only (but I’m only 18), a friend recommended the name of Philip Glass to me. The first disc I borrowed from the library was “Etudes for Piano”. Listening to the first etude, I was speechless because it was the first music to move me so intensely. I had the feeling to be really close to this music, as if I had been knowing it ever since this moment.
    From this moment, I decided to listen to all the albums I had the opportunity to find. At the university’s library the concerto for violin and Einstein on the Beach, at my hometown’s library a lot of other rarer works such as La Belle et la Bête, Dracula, Mishima. I bought the Hours, the piano works and more recently the Concerto Projects 1 and 2 that I love.
    I became really glassovorous and today, I defend as I can Mr Glass’ music in a snob musical world.
    My love for his music became deeper when I attented in France the ciné-concert of Koyaanisqatsi on december of 2005 and the concerto for two timpanists on november, 2006.

  2. The first disk I heard was Solo Piano, which, to this day, remains one of my favourite albums in the whole world. I also later stumbled upon the Qatsi films, which I had never realised existed. From then on my collection has grown and grown; some of my favourites include The Hours soundtrack and the Etudes for piano. Hopefully I’ll make it to a concert someday.

  3. A friend and co-worker came to me on a bright sunny day in 1985 with The photographer. I was working as a music director in a radio station at the time and he knew I was very open to new musical experiences. That work of Glass had a real deep impact on me. It was so different from anything else I knew. I instantly fell in love with The photographer especially ACT II. And I still think that this is one of the best work of Glass so far. A perfect mix of violin, voice keyboard and horns. Now I’ve no idea how many CDs fo Glass that I own.

  4. This thread is a great idea. Many thanks to the originator!
    I was raised on classical music and knew nothing else except for branching out into the classical traditions of Asia. My main interest is opera and I listened primarily to Wagner. So when people would ask me whether I listened to Philip Glass, I would just say that I am into romanticism and not minimalism. Total ignorance on my part.
    Then one day I heard the Glass violin concerto on the radio and was left breathless and very moved. I checked it out of the library and continued to adore it.
    It then occurred to me that Glass writes operas, though the only one I had heard of was Satyagraha. Still it seemed worth a try, considering my love for the violin concerto and the Asian/African theme of the opera. So I checked it out and listened. I was very analytic at first, thinking to myself that Glass was subduing melody to emphasize rhythm and harmony, and noting the emphasis on scales and arpeggios. But the last track did away with the analytic mode as I was seduced by its beauty and had to immediately listen again.
    I was cautious about being “hooked” so I then tried Aknaten. By the final track of the opera I was saying to myself, “Please don’t stop. This is soooo beautiful.”
    The rest is history. I haven’t listened to Wagner in more than a year. I listen to Glass exclusively, as much and as varied as I can get. But not only for the music. Listening to Symphony 5 and Symphony 6 sold me on the moral and philosophical content of Glass music as well. The only live performance of Glass music that I have seen exemplifies this moral content: it was Waiting for the Barbarians in Austin, January 2007. Finally, I’d like to mention that through the guestbook of the previous official site, I met people who share much of the same attitudes and therefore have become close friends

  5. I first heard Philip Glass from a CD that was packaged with a classical music magazine I purchased. The track was from la Belle et le Bete:Le Domaine de la Bete.
    I was obsessed with it. I had heard of Philip Glass but knew nothing about him. I went and purchased Glassworks and it was downhill from there.
    I think I own every album he’s released either on CD or via iTunes.

  6. I guess I was about 24 when I have a glimpse of Koyaanisqatsi on TV, I could only be at it for a few minutes, but I knew right away that it was something out of the ordinary, I felt an energy music never imbedded me with before, nor to this day… the funny thing is that I never knew the name of the movie, nor its music composer.
    Several years later I saw a TV spot for a movie called Koyaanisqatsi and very deep within me I knew this had to be that far away movie that stuck me with such power that I was never able to forget.
    After that awesome movie night on TV my life got richer because of Mr. Glass’ music, today I’m 37 and an avid fan of his work.

  7. I first heard Glass’ music when I ordered his ‘Music in Similar Motion’ disc on the now defunct Chatham Square records. I went to see the ensemble in DeKalb, Illinois for the first time in 1980 where ‘Music in Similar Motion’ was the first piece on the concert. From that time on I was a hooked and devoted fan. I have seen Glass and the ensemble many times and had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Glass several times (a really nice, unpretentious genius). I own everything that has been recorded (I think) by him and I will buy anything released in the future as well. But I relish most the sound of the Philip Glass Ensemble live. I hope they tour again soon because I will be there.

  8. Here in london we have an ‘art’ radio station called resonance FM. One evening I was driving back from the cinema with friends when they played knee play 3 from ‘Einstein…’. I was hooked from that point on. I have spent a serious amount of money collecting and a serious amount of time listening to the music of this great composer.
    He changed the way I think about writing music. I am a different person because of his influence.
    Sam Rae

  9. For those of you that might remember, there was a certain Simpson’s Halloween episode, in which Homer stumbles into the ‘Third Dimension’. He hit a little snag, when the universe collapsed in on itself, but is transported to ‘our’ world as a result. As he enters an ‘Erotic Cakes’ shop, the camera pans out, and an eerie version of the Simpson’s End Theme starts. At first, it reminded me of another show from my childhood, ‘Eerie Indiana’, as it sounded a little like that shows theme. I frantically looked all over Napster for this particular End Theme, and as luck would have it, I did. It was entitled ‘Homage to Philip Glass: Simpsons Halloween End Theme’…pretty straight forward. For the next few hours I scoured the internet for everything I could about this Philip Glass, and loved everything that I heard. Within the coming weeks and months I searched every music store within my blast radius for any and every one of his works that I could get my hands on: my ears thanked me in turn. And so, my love of all things ‘Glass’ began, from a simple theme…

  10. Well, I’ve only been a Glass fan for a year and a half now, but I clearly remember my first real appreciation for his music. I took a theory course my junior year in high school, I just graduated, and we watched a video on John Adams. At the end of the DVD was a performance of 8 lines by Steve Reich and I immediately fell in love with the repetitive nature of the music. Thinking I was nuts a friend of mine in the class gave me two of Steve’s albums. Upon later research I came upon similar artists to Mr. Reich, the first on the list was Philip
    Glass. A short time later, I went to Borders and picked up a copy of Glassworks. I was immediately amazed at the texture of his work and became dedicated to studying more. It was around this time I was in nashville to see a broadway musical. I was flipping through a nashville magazine when I came to a page that said, “Philip Glass Ensemble to play in Nashville, February.” Imagine my surprise and excitement at the news. I only live 3 hours away from nashville. We bought tickets as soon as we got back home and I began to wait for the concert. Finally on February 18, 2007 the day arrived. I was dressed in a nice suit and had the patience of a 4 year old. My dad and I walked into the Schermerhorn Symphony Center 2 hours before the concert to look at the hall. As I peeked inside, I could see Mr. Glass and the Ensemble rehearsing. They were playing The Grid from Koyaanisqatsi. Later before the concert I asked a cashier in the gift shop if they would be selling glass tshirts. She said she would call up Philip’s manager to see. This is the part I love. Philip’s manager comes in and tells me they don’t have tshirts but I can meet him in person after the concert. I was on cloud nine. After a long and amazing concert I waited til Mr. Glass came out from behind the stage wearing his jeans, coat, and beanie. I received a couple of autographs and a photo, but those were just trinkets compared to meeting the man who created such beautiful work. I will never forget the experience for the rest of my life. As of now I own 17 Philip Glass albums and I’m in the process of collecting every song that has been recorded. If anyone can help, please do. This was my first contact.

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