Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Lunch with Philip


You saw his opera Akhnaten at Emory. You purchased the box set pictured above. Now, you're probably wondering what Philip Glass has been up to lately. Well, like so many other world famous celebrities before him, on Monday, Philip Glass had lunch with Decatur CD's very own Young Eliot.

So, why, you ask did I deign to meet with someone who only ranks ninth on the list of living geniuses? Well, my friends at Emory thought it would be nice for Philip to have dinner with some students during his stay at Emory. As one of his many interests is Buddhism, they asked me, as the world's leading expert on that religion, to dine with him. I got tired of their begging and relented. Besides, they offered free cookies and ginger ale.

All jokes aside, I'm not really a huge fan of classical music. I certainly appreciate the work of Glass and others, but it's just not my thing at the moment. Nonetheless, I could not have been more impressed with Mr. Glass when I had lunch with him along with a handful of other Emory students from his areas of interest.

Warren will be surprised to know that I was a few minutes late for the lunch. When I sat down right next to him, Glass asked my name and my interest. I told him and he replied, "I'm Philip. I'm a composer." He proceeded to turn even the most mundane questions into grounds for a discourse on topics ranging from civil protest to the relationship between the audience and music.

In his description of the relation between audience and music, it became clear why he has such a fondness for Buddhism, as he clearly has a strong interest in interdependence. What's more, he demonstrated an incredible knowledge about every topic on which he spoke, referencing obscure points about the spread of Buddhism; his knowledge was a stark contrast to most celebrities who romanticize Buddhism into meaninglessness.

He did make one small mistake about the definition of a Sanskrit term, ahimsa, but my inner Buddhist geek was able to resist the urge to correct him. That one small misstep did nothing to offset how impressive he was in both his intelligence and his ability to relate to 21-year-old kids.

You know, one of these days I might even have to set aside all my lo-fi indie noise synth-pop post-skronk jangle punk and listen to one of his records.

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2 Comments:

At 8:39 PM, Blogger decaturcomp said...

You might enjoy, "Songs from Liquid Days." a single disk very listenable, includes a meditation on an electric fan as I recall.

...or the movies Powaqqatsi, Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out Of Balance, Kundun or The Hours which feature his scores.

My favorite review of his work goes as follows:
As I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening to Philip Glass listening to Philip Glass Glass Philip Glass Glass Philip Glass Glass I have to Glass I have to Glass I have to Glass I have to step back and wonder step back and wonder step back and wonder step back and wonder step back and wonder wonder step back and three-four-one-two-three-four as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening to Philip Glass listening to Philip Glass Glass Philip Glass Glass Philip Glass Glass I have to Glass I have to Glass I have to Glass I have to step back and wonder what all this one-two-one-two-three-one-two-three all this noise in my head means in my in my in my in my in my head Glass Glass Glass as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening to Philip Glass listening to Philip Glass Glass Philip Glass Glass Philip Glass Glass and why I can't just detatch as I sit here listening to Philip Glass listening listening listening listening as I sit her listening listening I am reminded Philip Glass Philip Glass three-four I am reminded Philip Glass as I sit here sit here sit her sit he one-two I am reminded of the sacred as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening listening listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening as I sit here listening which nothing is as I sit here listening to Philip Glass Philip Glass Philip Glass one-two-one-two-one-two-three-four-five-six-seven as I sit here

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Au$10 said...

Ha! Awesome review...

 

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