Saturday, January 10, 2009

Music: Hourglass

The Hours- Phillip Glass,composer; Branka Parlic, pianist

A harmonious pounding if there ever was one. My own simple definition of the musical instrument that has shaped my world since age 9. The piano has been an appendix to my body ever since. I cannot steer away from a black and white keyboard for long before I feel miserable and depleted of an essential energy akin to breathing. I was watching a video of The Hours by Phillip Glass (1937- ) on youtube today. The music created an interesting landscape in my mind. I remembered long lost conversations between me and a former significant other in a diner we use to frequent. The memory was a sad one but the music by Glass dignified the moment in a different way. I could see this episode of my life with certain detachment. Then it was not just a sad memory but a memory framed by the narrative music I was listening to. The music of Phillip Glass engages me. It surrounds me like literature and art. I can look at myself from the inside and the outside. In many occasions his music has had the reputation of being repetitious and hypnotic. But isn’t life both? How many times have I gone to the grocer’s where the same friendly cashiers greets me with a “Hi there, Sir how are you this morning?” or the endless times I had to wait for a red light to change into a green light. I could go on and on. When I am listening to Glass be it Songs from a Liquid Days, Koyaanisqatsi or Einstein on the Beach the word repetition becomes a rare petition, a petition on my part for sanity, for compassion, for at least trying to make a little sense of the chaos around me. Music always delivers answers to me.