Philip Glass and Beck Discuss Collaborating on ‘Rework’ –


When I talk to young composers, I tell them, I know that you’re all worried about finding your voice. Actually you’re going to find your voice. By the time you’re 30, you’ll find it. But that’s not the problem. The problem is getting rid of it. You have to find an engine for change. And that’s what collaborative work does. Whatever we do together will make us different.

Philip Glass and Beck Discuss Collaborating on ‘Rework’ –

A couple years ago, Stanford hosted an evening with Leonard Cohen and Philip Glass. Over an hour of conversation (pdf transcript), AND they made the audience submit questions via notecards! A good bit from Glass:

Someone recently was showing me a book that this person was writing and she said, do you have any advice? I said, Yes, my advice is: Don’t stop working before the book is finished. And I quickly added: Because it’s in the last moments of the work that the quality appears. It doesn’t happen at the beginning; it happens at the end.


I watched Koyaanisqatsi this weekend. It’s got a lot of cool footage and overall it was worth watching. But part of the problem with the message (that we live a “crazy life,” a “life out of balance”) is that it’s so dependent on the soundtrack.
A lot of it made me think of those time-lapse videos I saw on kids TV when I was little. Seeing a factory in fast motion was cool, not cause for worry. I was glad I found this Koyaanisqatsi: Redux which matches a portion of the film to a goofy, upbeat soundtrack, and contrasts it with a more dramatic string arrangement in the middle (musical transitions are around the 2-minute and 4-minute marks). I like parts of Philip Glass‘ original soundtrack for the film, and I think it’s kind of spooky-cool how the soundtrack can direct your response to what you’re seeing. But it’s too much of an emotional shortcut.

There are a lot of excerpts from the film on YouTube, like the original trailer, the demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing in St. Louis, scenes from New York, and the famous closing scene that reprises the opening.