“Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1:8:30-9:30 p.m. 26 January 2009

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by RonPrice, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. RonPrice

    RonPrice New Member

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    After watching the very stimulating TV program “Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1:8:30-9:30 p.m. 26 January 2009 I was moved to write this prose-poem. This film portrait of a composer, one of the greatest and most controversial musical artists of our time, took two years to make and was put together to celebrate Glass’s 70th birthday. Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music-- simultaneously. Glass spoke of himself as a composer of “music with repetitive structures.” That is certainly true of my prose-poetry and for this, among other reasons, I was attracted to Glass and his work—and to watching this program. His work aims to immerse listeners in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops. My prose-poetry also aims to immerse readers in a sort of sonic atmosphere that twists various themes and tries to turn them into some surrounding and developing whole consisting of my life, my society and my value and belief system.

    There has been nothing “minimalist” about Glass’s output, although his new musical style was eventually dubbed “minimalism.” In the past 25 years(1984-2009), Glass has composed more than twenty operas, large and small; eight symphonies (with others already on the way); two piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks to films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris’s documentary about former defence secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, among many others. He presents lectures, workshops, and solo keyboard performances around the world, and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble.

    My work involves no collaboration with others except insofar as I beg, borrow and steal ideas from wherever I can get them and blend, fold and synthesize them into the tapestry of my own writing much like a swallow and a snail.1 –Ron Price with thanks to 1Andre Aciman, “Proust’s Way?” The New York Review of Books, Vol.52, No. 19, 1 December, 2005.

    The swallow’s quick, agile, speedy
    travel across long, tireless stretches
    of the world, taking it in the ways
    whales take in water and plankton,
    with mistakes easily corrected, bad
    times put to good use, judgements
    which are unwise just tweaked here
    and there in some implacable line
    of words where the only pieces that
    are thrown away are those which had
    problems with the printer or were lost
    in cyberspace because I pressed those
    wrong keys---and then---the snail’s
    slow, deliberate, fussy, cramped and
    burrowing into itself, ingesting choice
    bits down some multichambered spiral
    and with an appetite for a whorled vision.1

    In the past 25 years there has been nothing “minimalist” about my output, although I did subscribe to a minimalist philosophy as outlined by William Hatcher in his book Minimalism: A Bridge between Classical Philosophy and the Baha'i Revelation. In this book(2003) Hatcher sought to provide a much-needed bridge between the so-called scientific materialists and the post-modern relativists. And I try to do this in my prose-poetry, although with none of the logic, pattern and tightly reasoned argument of Hatcher.

    Generally, the goal or aim in my work in these same years(1984-2009) and the way my narrative imagination is engaged in what I see as an epic literary opus is to attempt to connect the long and complex history of humanity, my society, my value and belief system, my own life and the lives of my contemporaries, as far as possible. I have sought and found a narrative voice and a noetic integrator, that contains uncertainty, ambiguity and incompleteness among shifting fields of reference mixed with certainties of heart and spirit. Since my prose and poetry is inspired by so much that is, and has been, part of the human condition, this epic oeuvre it could be said has at its centre Life Itself and the most natural and universal of human activities, the act of creating narratives. When we die all that remains is our story.

    I have called this prose-poetic work of mine an epic because it deals with events, as all epics do, that are or will be—such is my belief anyway--significant to the entire society. It contains what Charles Handy, philosopher, business man and writer, calls the golden seed: a belief that what I am doing is important, probably unique, to the history and development of a new System. This poetry, this epic, has to do with heroism and deeds in battle of contemporary and historical significance and manifestation. My work and my life, the belief System I have been associated with for over half a century, involves a great journey, not only my own across two continents, but that of a precious Cause1 as it has expanded across the planet. To outline, however briefly, my output in this quarter-century, an output of many millions of words, would lead to prolixity.--1 The Baha’i Faith

    Glass wrote about his opera
    Waiting for the Barbarians
    saying that he saw it as an
    occasion for dialogue about
    political crisis. He also sees
    his work as an illustration of
    the power of art to turn people’s
    attention toward history’s human
    dimension. This TV program, this
    visual-aural-literary portrait, closes
    with a brief comment by Glass about
    one of his friends who is a writer.

    Glass muses as to whether his friend’s
    writing and his own musical work are
    but efforts to bring order, beauty and
    meaning into our chaotic world.1 This
    is true of my work, although I would
    twist and turn the idea to say that there
    is a beauty, a new flower, which has
    begun to bloom in our Rose Garden of
    changeless splendor. Compared to this
    flower every other flower is but a thorn,
    and before the brightness of Whose glory
    the very essence of beauty pales, withers.2

    1“Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1-8:30-9:30 p.m., 26 January 2009.
    2 Baha’u’llah, Gleanings, US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990, p.319.

    Ron Price
    27 January 2009
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Re: “Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1:8:30-9:30 p.m. 26 January 2

    Ron,

    Good to see your post and welcome to the Forum!

    I appreciate your post.. and where you are coming from:

    "My prose-poetry also aims to immerse readers in a sort of sonic atmosphere that twists various themes and tries to turn them into some surrounding and developing whole consisting of my life, my society and my value and belief system".

    and

    "I have sought and found a narrative voice and a noetic integrator, that contains uncertainty, ambiguity and incompleteness among shifting fields of reference mixed with certainties of heart and spirit. Since my prose and poetry is inspired by so much that is, and has been, part of the human condition, this epic oeuvre it could be said has at its centre Life Itself and the most natural and universal of human activities, the act of creating narratives. When we die all that remains is our story."


    When do we really die?

    - Art
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Re: “Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1:8:30-9:30 p.m. 26 January 2

    Ron, welcome, but please remember that this is an interfaith discussion community first, and not really a creative writing group. :)
     
  4. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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  5. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    Re: “Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1:8:30-9:30 p.m. 26 January 2

    aaaarrrgh.

    philip glass.......

    .......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  6. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Re: “Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1:8:30-9:30 p.m. 26 January 2

    Speaking of which, there is an interesting special effect in that last video that is a kind of complex-plane transformation called, I think, a Z-squared transformation. I don't know if there is any free software that will do it. Maybe Photoshop would.
     
  7. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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  8. RonPrice

    RonPrice New Member

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    Re: “Glass: A Portrait of Philip Glass in 12 Parts,” ABC1:8:30-9:30 p.m. 26 January 2

    I enjoyed reading these responses to my post on Philip Glass. And, yes, I-Brian, I have noted your comment on this site being an interfaith discussion place first and not a place that emphasizes creative writing. I shall drop in here occasionally in these middle years(65-75) of my late adulthood(60-80) and old age(80++), if I last that long.-Ron in Tasmania:cool:
     

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