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Words Without Music ❰PDF / Epub❯ ★ Words Without Music Author Philip Glass – Buyprobolan50.co.uk A world renowned composer of symphonies operas and film scores Philip Glass has almost single handedly crafted the dominant sound of late twentieth century classical music Yet here in Words Without Mu A world renowned composer of symphonies operas and film scores Philip Glass has almost single handedly crafted the dominant sound of late twentieth century classical music Yet here in Words Without Music he creates an entirely new and unexpected voice that of a born storyteller and an acutely insightful chronicler whose behind the scenes recollections allow readers to experience those moments of creative fusion when life so magically merged with artIf you go to New York Words Without PDF/EPUB or City to study music you'll end up like your uncle Henry Glass's mother warned her incautious and curious nineteen year old son It was the early summer of and Ida Glass was concerned that her precocious Philip already a graduate of the University of Chicago would end up an itinerant musician playing in vaudeville houses and dance halls all over the country just like his cigar smoking bantamweight uncle One could hardly blame Mrs Glass for worrying that her teenage son would end up as a musical vagabond after initially failing to get into Juilliard Yet the transformation of a young man from budding musical prodigy to world renowned composer is the story of this commanding memoirFrom his childhood in post–World War II Balti to his student days in Chicago at Juilliard and his first journey to Paris where he studied under the formidable Nadia Boulanger Glass movingly recalls his early mentors while reconstructing the places that helped shape his artistic consciousness From a life changing trip to India where he met with gurus and first learned of Gandhi’s Salt March to the gritty streets of New York in the s where the composer returned working day jobs as a furniture mover cabbie and an unlicensed plumber Glass leads the life of a Parisian bohemian artist only now transported to late twentieth century AmericaYet even after Glass’s talent was first widely recognized with the sensational premiere of Einstein on the Beach in even after he stopped renewing his hack license and gained international recognition for operatic works like Satyagraha Orphée and Akhnaten the son of a Balti record store owner never abandoned his earliest universal ideals throughout his memorable collaborations with Allen Ginsberg Ravi Shankar Robert Wilson Doris Lessing Martin Scorsese and many others all of the highest artistic orderFew major composers are celebrated as writers but Philip Glass in this loving and slyly humorous autobiography breaks across genres and re creates here in words the thrill that results from artistic creation Words Without Music ultimately affirms the power of music to change the world.


10 thoughts on “Words Without Music

  1. Barry Pierce Barry Pierce says:

    My obsession with Philip Glass' music is probably a type of mania There I am sitting just listening to the same couple of notes being played over and over again sometimes for hours And I love it Glass' memoir thankfully doesn't follow his trademark repetitive style Instead he has produced a really wonderful account of his life specifically focussing on his early years We follow him from childhood through his early music lessons to Juilliard to Paris to India and beyond His sheer dedication to becoming a great composer is inspiring However the memoir is slightly off kilter The book is just shy of 400 pages and yet his chapter on his first major masterpiece Einstein on the Beach does not come until page 283 almost at the final uarter You see Glass spends a lot of time discussing his great musical education but then decides not to actually discuss the great works that he would go on to produce In fact all of the discussion of his actual music is relegated to the final hundred pages Everything from Einstein to now in one hundred pagesThe absences are glaring There is no mention of Glassworks for example apart from a single sentence on its commission In The Upper Room Dance Songs from Liuid Days and Dracula don't get a single mention Almost criminally there is also no word on Metamorphosis Mad Rush or any of his Etudes which are by far his most popular works I understand that if he did actually discuss all of his major works the book would have been a behemoth But strangely he decides to dedicate a whole chapter the final chapter to his Cocteau Trilogy which I doubt anyone would refute my saying are very much minor works within his oeuvre I feel he just needed someone beside him as he was writing to say to him 'this is all well and good Phil but how about you write about some of your famous ones?'However I do think I am expecting too much Glass has had an amazing life peppered with wonderful people and stories I shall decide to take those stories with me I guess I'll just have to ask Glass myself about In the Upper Room


  2. David David says:

    This book is the autobiography of Philip Glass a world renowned composer of art music I have not really appreciated his minimalist style of music but I truly enjoyed his story This is a guy who really paid his dues over and over again before becoming world famous He grew up in Balti and was strongly influenced by the modern music he listened to in his father's record store He went to Peabody Institute University of Chicago Julliard School of Music and finally with a Fullbright Scholarship studied under the tutelage of the famous Nadia Boulanger in ParisWhile he composed his music and produced performances and operas he worked as a furniture mover a plumber and a taxi cab driver in New York City With his wife he toured through Pakistan and India learning about Indian music with Ravi Shankar and Eastern cultureGlass tells his story with humor and excitement I loved the episode where his mother Ida Glass worried so much about his financial future as a composer When she attended one of her son's concerts for the first time there were only six people in the audience The next time she attended her son's concert there were four thousand people in the audiencePhilip Glass composed a lot of music and some of it is very experimental He wrote many operas symphonies a lot of chamber music and scores for films He produced some of his earliest operas on a shoestring budget but were sold out His opera Einstein on the Beach lasts four and a half hoursAs a composer myself I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of enthusiasm and love for music that he conveys throughout the book I recommend this book to anyone who might be interested in a biography of a very interesting person


  3. Rob Christopher Rob Christopher says:

    “If you don’t know what to do there’s actually a chance of doing something new As long as you know what you’re doing nothing much of interest is going to happen”– Philip Glass Words Without Music


  4. Tosh Tosh says:

    A very warm and human like nice guy at least on the printed page who also has a fascinating life and knows everyone Philip Glass has not always been my favorite composer but he has written some of my favorite pieces of music I love Einstein on the Beach and the Mishima soundtrack and parts of the Candyman is great as well There are misses in his long career but there are also fantastic albums here and there in his long discography This memoir is truly interesting because it deals with the working life of an American composer I love reading about his life as a teenager working in his dad's record shop in Balti as well as his life as a Taxi Driver in New York City while at the same time probably one of the most important if not financially successful composers of our era This is an excellent book for someone who wants to make it as an artistcomposerwhatever and see how someone like Glass worked as a labor as well as an artist He could do both and he did it uite well The fact that he took up and lived with Moondog is amazing enough but also his friendships with various writers and artists from the visual New York City world are eually great I would have liked to have read about his relationship with fellow composer Steve Reich but that is a minor fault in this book Over all Glass doesn't go out of his way to say bad things about people this is not a memoir trying to even the score but of a life of a hard working artist Well written and very interesting tales


  5. Ana Ana says:

    “Openings and closings beginnings and endings Everything in between passes as uickly as the blink of an eye An eternity precedes the opening and another if not the same follows the closing Somehow everything that lies in between seems for a moment vivid” I absolutely loved thisI’ve never considered myself a soundtrack or film score nerd but it is the music genre that I predominantly listen to I follow some composers’ work religiously recognize pieces in an instant and most of the times you’ll hear me say “I haven’t seen the film but the soundtrack is amazing” I am that annoyingI got to see Philip Glass Kronos uartet a couple of years ago in my hometown playing music to the screening of 1931 “Dracula” in a summer theatre It goes without saying that Glass is one of my favourite composers and “The Hours” one of my favourite soundtracks ever His catalogue is beyond impressive and to read about how he got to compose some of his most famous works was a real treat He is also an incredible storyteller The chapters do not follow his life chronologically rather themes and threads moments and people he met throughout his career I loved his meditations on art and music the story of “Einstein on the Beach” and “Satyagraha” of working with Mlle Boulanger on his music techniue his friendship with Doris Lessing and Allen Ginsberg and other inspiring or amusing anecdotes “Wait a second have you seen Taxi Driver?”“No I didn’t see Taxi Driver”“You didn’t see Taxi Driver?”“Marty I was a taxi driver During the time when you were making that film I was out driving a hundred miles a night in New York City On my night off the last thing I was going to do was see a movie called Taxi Driver”Yeah that MartyI’m definitely planning on re reading it if not the entire book at least some of my favourite chapters


  6. Bettie Bettie says:

    BOTWhttpwwwbbccoukprogrammesb05rnx7hDescription The long awaited memoir by the world renowned composer of symphonies operas and film scores'If you go to New York City to study music you'll end up like your uncle Henry' Glass's mother warned her incautious and curious nineteen year old son It was the early summer of 1956 and Ida Glass was concerned that her precocious Philip already a graduate of the University of Chicago would end up an itinerant musician playing in vaudeville houses and dance halls all over the country just like his cigar smoking bantamweight uncle One could hardly blame Mrs Glass for worrying that her teenage son would end up as a musical vagabond after initially failing to get into Juilliard Yet the transformation of a young man from budding musical prodigy to world renowned composer is the story of this memoirFrom his childhood in post World War II Balti to his student days in Chicago at Juilliard and his time in Paris where he studied under the formidable Nadia Boulanger Glass movingly recalls his early mentors while reconstructing the places that helped shape his artistic consciousness Then to the gritty streets of New York in the 1970s where the composer worked as a cabbie leading the life of a Parisian bohemian artist transported to late twentieth century AmericaYet even after Glass's talent was first widely recognized with the sensational premiere of Einstein on the Beach in 1976 even after he stopped renewing his hack license and gained international recognition for his operatic works the son of a Balti record store owner never abandoned his earliest universal ideals all of the highest artistic order 15 Philip Glass recalls his Balti childhood and being accepted at Chicago University25 Funding himself by working in a Balti steel mill the young Glass secures a place at Juilliard and begins his music studies in earnest New York City in the late 1950s was a heady place offering a range of creative opportunities He soon found himself immersed in the city's vibrant contemporary art scene35 In the mid 1960s and keen to expand his musical knowledge further Glass went to Paris to study with the acclaimed teacher of musical composition Nadia Boulanger While there and working with the likes of Samuel Beckett he developed his life long interest in composing music for theatre45 After decades working day jobs to fund his music Philip Glass finally broke through with the opera Einstein on the Beach Collaborating with director Robert Wilson the five hour production sold out each night during its 1976 European and American tour and made the pair's careers55 Asked to write the score for visionary 1982 documentary Koyaanisatsi Glass discovered a new avenue for his musical composition He later worked with Martin Scorsese writing the soundtrack for Kundun 1997Reader Kerry ShaleWriter Philip GlassAbridger Laurence WareingProducer Kirsteen CameronMusicTrack OpeningKnee Play 5 Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass 1979 Original Philip Glass Kundun 15 Move To Dungkar


  7. Katie Kellert Katie Kellert says:

    Absolutely incredible read If you're a musician or an aspiring musician especially if you're a composer or even if you're none of those things read this if you want to be inspired and liberated of your notions about fame art and life as an artist Colorful inspiring and completely engaging


  8. Charlie Charlie says:

    After watching Glass A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts I was convinced that Philip Glass is an aloof turd Now I believe he is an aloof turd with a heartIf you at least know something about any one of the following things you will probably enjoy Words Without Music A MemoirPhilip Glass music theorycomposition Buddhism world travel pretense yoga daddy issues plumbing vagueness or NYC in the 60's and 70'sAs a hardcore fan of PG since high school in 1995 guess who sat at the cool table I was disappointed that the book didn't get too juicy I wanted a tabloid style self exposé but I got the highlight reel from the giant career of a giant composerMr Glass clearly picked and chose what he wanted to write about and what he didn't want to write about That's fair But large swaths of his career and personal life were glossed over if not excluded I guess that's my main criticismAs a just past being able to call himself young composer myself I enjoyed this book for its technical discussion of broad music theory I finished this book having gained additions to both my reading and listening lists I also found value in the philosophical discussions on creativity and art I would love to see an On Writing Stephen King style technical discussion about the craft of music composition There's certainly some meandering in this book we get it you like your vacation home but it does come to a point even if it takes a whileThere is a slightly grim tone to the text it's clearly written from the perspective of an almost eighty year old who is reflecting on his life in words and wants to leave a detailed descriptions of the best parts and some of the worst The book's beautiful in that way There's also a micron of laughter and some great stories about Glass's artistic contemporariesSo read this book It's written by a creative mastermind and intellectual It teaches you things It lets you about three uarters of the way into his head and there are your reasons to pick it up right now Enjoy


  9. Magdalena Magdalena says:

    As one of the most influential composers of the 20th century Philip Glass transformed the landscape of modern music His work is Renaissance like in its scope; the breadth of his projects a wide sweep that encompasses Opera film scores symphonies music theatre concertos and the list goes on To call him a musical genius would be easy What’s not so easy is to track just how much work there is behind the exuisite music he’s given to the world—not some extraordinary inspiration—just hard yakka and lots of it If something caught Glass’ interest—and almost everything interests him—he would begin a course of study that involved hours and hours of deep regimented study and practice There are never any short cuts Travelling to remote places to spend time with various teachers beginning a myriad of projects taking hold of nearly every opportunity that came his way to grow and learn by studying practicing and drilling are what characterises Glass’ approach to his craft I opened the book thinking I’d read an autobiography of a great composer Instead I found a deeply introspective story of a man whose work has grown out of a desire to understand life from the inside—at the point where the atoms moveThe book begins with Glass’ young years in Balti where he grew up the son of well educated Jewish Lithuanian migrants His mother Ida was an English teacherlibrarian and his father Ben owned a record store Though they didn’t approve of his desire to become a musician Glass’ parents paid for music lessons which began early when a young Glass would take the streetcar to Peabody Conservatory to study flute When he was eleven he began to work in his father’s store The book progresses in a reasonably chronological fashion through his early schooling and the start of a lifelong love of music his early entry to the University of Chicago where he obtained a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy his studies at Julliard with Ravi Shankar in Paris with Nadia Boulinger on a Fulbright Scholarship his visits to India and Nepal to study Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism his time in a very Bohemian New York’s East Village his work in the theatre with his then wife Joanne Akalaitis his immersion in the world of Art the creation of his operas his film scoring and his time with his second wife Candy JerniganThroughout this period Glass not only throws himself wholeheartedly into his work but also into his spirituality and into earning a good living He takes on all sorts of ‘day jobs’ and not only does them well he seems to take great pleasure out of doing them exceptionally well—whether that’s moving furniture teaching himself plumbing on the job driving a taxi or helping his dad out in the record store there’s an attention and interest shown to everything that turns the work into almost an art In fact if there’s one theme that can be found throughout the book it’s this kind of mindfulness—the art of paying complete attention – whether that be fixing a broken sink working at a composition or listening to a challenging piece of musicThe mechanics of perception and attention tied you to the flow of the music in a way that was compelling and that made the story irrelevantWhen you get to that level of attention two things happen one the structure form and the content become identical; two the listener experiences and emotional buoyancy Once we let go of the narrative and allow ourselves to enter the flow of the music the buoyancy that we experience is both addictive and attractive and attains a high emotional level 221The story itself is compelling and would probably have been so even if the book weren’t so well written there are several love stories lots of famous names and collaborations travels to interesting places and a very wide range of influences and references from literature art music dance and theatre Glass however writes beautifully exploring always the deeper and universal implications of his experiences The prose is beautiful to read—both simple and powerful  Glass’ recounts are than just memoir  He is generous in that whatever he writes is always aimed at finding a deeper and collective meaning in his individual experiences There is so much to learn here not just about Glass but about ourselves—how to live how to learn how to create Towards the end of the book Glass talks about his work on The Cocteau Trilogy in which he says of Cocteau that he “is teaching about creativity in terms of the power of the artist which we now understand to be the power of transformation” 378 The same can be said of Words Without Music Glass fans will love it of course and there are detailed deconstructions of most of Glass’ big works from the making of to the meaning of However Words Without Music is a book for all readers—the lessons it provides and the journey it takes us on is both beautifully expressed and universally applicable


  10. Laura Laura says:

    From BBC Radio 4 ExtraThe long awaited memoir by the world renowned American composer of symphonies operas and film scores Philip Glass


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