Reasons why I might feel a little down today…
1. I’m practising in F minor which according to Christian Schubart’s “Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkunst (1806)” means “Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.”
2. I’m playing a good deal of Philip Glass who, according to director Errol Morris, “creates a feeling of existential dread better than anyone else I know of”. Argh.
3. It’s a slightly grey day but a little humid and not properly, deliciously cold so… meh.
Why use a word to describe something that we’re trying to say is undescribable or unnameable? It’s not for lack of love of the language that these films have no words. It’s because, from my point of view, our language is in a state of vast humiliation. It no longer describes the world in which we live.
Dead Things by Philip Glass. A recorded by me (Sally Whitwell) on my 2011 debut album Mad Rush
It was originally composed for the soundtrack to the Stephen Daldry film The Hours which was about the life and work Virginia Woolf…. in a kind of roundabout way. Brilliant performances from Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore, lengthy appearances from Nicole Kidman in a prosthetic nose at which I couldn’t help but giggle just a little. Such a shame cos her co stars and the screenplay were all brilliantly compelling.
Anyway, looking forward to playing this piece in a concert on the weekend. Nothing like a little Philip Glass existential dread on a Sunday afternoon.
Wichita Vortex Sutra by Philip Glass. Performed by me (Sally Whitwell) on my first album Mad Rush on a splendid Stuart and Sons piano. I’ll be performing this piece amongst other works of living legend Philip Glass in concert on Sunday at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, not on a Stuart and Sons piano, but on a generically nice Steinway or something… ;) (cheeky Sally!)
Video by my friend Andrew of New United Artists
Metamorphosis No. 2 by Philip Glass. Performed by me (Sally Whitwell), video by New United Artists.
I’ll be playing this piece in a concert at the Art Gallery of New South Wales early Sunday afternoon. It rather appeals to me to play Glass’s works in art gallery spaces, when I think about the kinds of spaces in which he performed his music when he was just starting out… all those tales of the artsy crowds lying on the floor in Soho lofts, smoking joints and blissing out to the oscillating quavers of Tetris rain (yes, that’s why my tumblog is called what it’s called!).
"I was very fortunate to work with Godfrey as my first filmmaker because he didn’t know anything about writing film music either. He didn’t know and I didn’t know, so we made it up." Philip Glass on working with Godfrey Reggio.
I went to see the Sydney Symphony play the live soundtrack for this film last night at the Sydney Opera House. Somewhat masochistically perhaps, I rather enjoy the feeling of being emotionally manipulated by these two fellows. Brilliant.
Philip Glass - Etude II
From the album Etudes For Piano Vol. I
Looking forward to playing some of these with Mr. Glass in LA next May. Woohoo!
In the 1970s, a paper ran the headline “Glass invents new sonic torture”. I saved that one – I thought it was very funny.
…this sense of their linked life – cadences as unstoppable as time – is what makes them so moving.
Kate Kellaway writes in the Guardian on the latest performance of Philip Glass’s 20 solo piano Etudes.
I was proud to be a part of the premiere of the last three of these, back in February. Memories!
I love my hometown, Canberra. I love it so much, I’m giving them a very special concert of a rather exclusive repertoire.
Earlier this year, I had the great privilege of performing some of Mr. Philip Glass’s as yet unpublished Solo Piano Etudes in a concert for Perth International Arts Festival, including a world premiere. He’s given me special permission to perform them, such a rare and wonderful gift. A gift I’m passing on to the lovely people of the nation’s capital.
Baby Einstein on the Beach.
"1, 2, 3, 4… 7!!" Bahahahaha!