My grandfather loved opera. He went to every performance of the Metropolitan Opera when it was in Cleveland. He was infamous for going out one afternoon for a haircut to a new barbershop and calling home when late for supper to say that he had been listening to 78’s of Enrico Caruso with the Italian opera-loving barber and had lost track of time. He listened to the Texaco Metropolitan Opera every Saturday afternoon. He introduced me to opera. I like opera. But I do not love it as my grandfather did.
My mother liked 20th century music. I did not realize until after I left home how my mother liked Karlheinz Stockhausen, Aaron Copeland, and Samuel Barber.
I of course was influenced by both Mom and Poppop. I also liked synthesized music. I was turned on to music synthesizer by Howard Russell. Howard did sound production then and still does sound production. As a result he had a promo album of Walter Carlos’ Switched On Bach. Walter has become Wendy but the music is still Back with the electronic sound. For me it made the voicing clear for first time.
I tried to make synthesized music with kits from Paia. Time pressures from children and job put the synthesizer in the background. But I alway played a variety of recorded music when I had the opportunity. I occasionally listen to the opera as it plays on Saturday afternoon when I am out-and-about doing recycling/lumber/garden supply/tools and otherwise guy-shopping.
I also have always liked Philip Glass as a composer. There is a certain comfort in the repetition of Glass’s music. I had borrowed Powaqqatsi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powaqqatsi from the Windsor Public Library and wound up buying my own copy. There is also the CD of the sound track for The Hours
My son who plays the guitar well has taken to composing (assembling?, constructing?, compiling?,…?) electronic music on his computer. He describes this music style as “trance”.
Today’s Weekend Wall Street Journal has a review of Philip Glass’s ‘Satyagraha’. I had seen the headline and picture but had set the paper down to get busy with Saturday projects. After lunch, I moved the car and happened to turn on the radio. As I listened, I noticed that the currents of Glass’s music flowed in patterns similar to my son’s music. I went to tell him to give it a listen.
In an interesting confluence, my son’s girlfriend had just suggested that he listen to today’s opera to hear how much Philip Glass was like trance.
He did listen. But in just a few seconds he said “The Hours“. And indeed he was right. But there is more…
I think. Satyagraha has solos and chorus. The Hours is strictly instrumental.
So many flows come together and go on.