Skip to main content

Minimal – Philip Glass at 75

Tramway, Glasgow, Saturday October 29; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow,
Sunday October 30.

How fragile is Glass? And how shattering? Audiences have had plenty of
time of late to ponder the cause and effect of veteran New York
composer Philip Glass' considerable body of work. Glass himself
appeared with his Ensemble to perform the dizzying soundtracks to
Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy of films as part of Edinburgh
International Festival. Hot on its heels came a performance of '1000
Airplanes On The Roof,' the Glass-scored 'science-fiction opera',
featuring The Red Note Ensemble playing beneath a Concorde in a hangar
at the National Museum of Flight.

The latter performance is repeated, sans Concorde, as part of the
self-explanatory Minimal festival, which this year celebrates Glass'
seventy-fifth birthday with a weekend programme split between Glasgow
Royal Concert Hall and Tramway. As well as '1000 Airplanes On The
Roof,' avant-chamber group Bang On A Can will present free afternoon
programmes at both venues showcasing some of Glass' cutting-edge New
York heirs, while a Saturday teatime Tramway show features some of the
elder statesman's more hardcore concoctions.

More intimate should be The Smith Quartet's renditions of Glass's
string-works, while the Scottish Ensemble will feature violinist Robert
McDuffie playing a double bill of Vivaldi's Four Seasons alongside
Glass' The American Seasons, written especially for McDuffie. Moving
beyond Glass even further, Bang On A Can and Red Note will converge for
the weekend's final performance of Music For Airports, Brian Eno's 1978
suite that formed the first of his self-styled 'Ambient' series, pretty
much inventing chill-out rooms as he went.

The List, October 2011

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…