Today a friend of mine told me that when she bakes, she provides herself with a soundtrack of pretty much exclusively my album Mad Rush. Lots of people have told me it’s like a meditation, or it’s good driving music, or they like to study with it on the background, but this is the first time I’ve heard about it’s culinary application.
I rather like the idea of the baking. Maybe I’ll even try it myself?
Feeling almost like properly famous - Whilst out doing some Christmas shopping with my mum this afternoon in Glebe, a stranger approached and complimented me on my Philip Glass album Mad Rush.
I’m still blushing.
17-18 December 2011
Mad Rush: Solo Piano Music of Philip Glass
Sally Whitwell, piano
Sydney pianist Sally Whitwell presents a recital of piano music by minimalist composer Philip Glass for her debut album with ABC Classics.
As one may expect, Glass’s piano music is full of repetitive note patterns and rhythmic groupings that can create soothing, almost hypnotic effects. This type of minimalist writing is well suited to the piano, exploiting its percussive qualities, wide dynamic range and bell-like tones while allowing a layering of the texture to create shifting sonorities.
Glass has a persuasive advocate in Whitwell. Her playing is excellent throughout this disc, going beyond mere notational accuracy to breathe life and shape into the music. Given the highly repetitive nature of the writing, and the similarities between many of the tracks, Whitwell’s rather personal interpretations bring expressive character and musical contrast to the works.
The title track, Mad Rush, was written as entrance music for the Dalai Lama on his 1979 new York visit. The writing alternates between gentler patterns and more frenetic episodes, yet Whitwell subverts the mechanical aspect of the music and shapes the repeating cells into phrases that seem to breathe with a natural ebb and flow. Her playing is intense, highly charged and technically assured. Other works include an arrangements from Glass’s Academy Award-nominated soundtrack to The Hours, the brilliantly played Wichita Vortex Sutra and the five Metamorphosis pieces.
Fan mail. It’s always so humbling! I like this one - it arrived just now (I especially love the opening line!)