Looking Glass Studios :: Philip Glass

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Edward Pungot » 02/15/12 12:29 PM

I first came across Philip Glasss work in a music appreciation class in college. When I first heard his solo work on the piano (Metamorphosis), it had quite a magical quality to it. Fast forward to the movie The Illusionist starring Edward Norton and if you remember the music, well, Glass was the composer for that as well.

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was his 75th birthday. In commemoration of that event, he put out his 9th Symphony. Definitely worth a listen as his mastery of layering and fusion of various instruments in unique combinations and sound is very, very magical indeed.

On one of the movements, my mind was filled with magical related ideasthe Wakeling Billiard Balls progressively reaching the lofty limits of space as the conjurer performs seated on a simple black stool. Suddenly, just when his hands could no longer humanely contain any more billiard balls and the arms stretched any further, the magician begins to float above the bar stool a la Soirees Fantastique by Christian Fechner. Fade to black

Glass's works isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I think his minimalist style compliments magic for the stage. Stage magicians may want to take note and give it a try.


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Postby mai-ling » 02/15/12 09:39 PM

i've never been a fan of his music.
i can't wrap my head around it and
i'm very open to all styles of music,
especially classical.
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Postby Edward Pungot » 02/16/12 01:54 AM

Im only a semi-fan. Like you, most of his work I dont care for, especially his operas, but there are a fewhis 9th Symphony includedthat clicks for me. I think its the repetitive, simple jingles that either attracts or detracts listeners. Since a lot of magic focuses on variations on a theme and playing them out with ever increasing impossibilities and challenges, I think it may compliment the choreographed routines that magicians perform on stage.
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Postby Potty the Pirate » 02/16/12 03:32 AM

I'm a big fan of Philip Glass, especially his album of songs "Songs from Liquid Days". Beautiful.
His operas are dramatic, the music is entrancing, full of amazing harmonies and layered rhythms. But I'm sure it's not everyone's cup of tea.
For magic presentations, I think his music would often be well worth considering. Don't forget to obtain the neccessary permissions to use it!
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Postby billmccloskey » 02/16/12 10:46 AM

I was in the audience for the revival of Einstein on the Beach back in the mid 80's at BAM. 5 hours with no intermission. While I've always liked his music, I am more drawn to John Adams who also came out of that minimalist group. His opera Nixon in China is a modern masterpiece.
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