Philip Glass expected to introduce an eponymous festival in Carmel.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This Friday, Philip Glass will come to Hidden Valley Music Theater to make an announcement of such import that it compels Philip Glass to come to Hidden Valley Music Theater this Friday to make it.
Glass is a constantly shifting pillar in contemporary classical music. Since the ’60s, the prolific composer/pianist has accumulated a giant body of innovative work including operas like the modern and mathematical Einstein on the Beach, nine symphonies, 10 concertos, film scores (three of which he’s been nominated for Academy Awards) – not to mention the who’s who of collaborations with an unpredictable array of artists like poets Leonard Cohen and Allen Ginsberg, filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Godfrey Reggio, musicians Ravi Shankar, David Bowie, Kronos Quartet and Aphex Twin (!), and even comedian Stephen Colbert (!!).
And despite the background steeped in modern classical innovators like Bartok and Shostakovich; progressive music studies at Juliard; and art music theory and conceptual experiments, he’s made music that has been, to the consternation of critics and traditionalists, accessible. There are levels of Glass’ music that reward study and background, but it’s also beautifully compelling and visceral with melody, motifs, dynamics and harmony: You could be talking rock ‘n’ roll.
So what is he going to talk about Friday? A media moratorium, which presumably extends to the New York Times and L.A. Times, is fueling speculation.
“I know more than I can say,” says Henry Miller Library Director Magnus Toren, who was there when Glass first entered the hallowed library grounds and has since become buddies. “Bottom line is Philip fell in love with this area.”
Peter Meckel, executive director of Hidden Valley Music Seminars, is equally coy. He was there to greet Glass on his first visit to the famed classical music facility, but defers to a press release when pressed for information: “Cited by many musicians and scholars as one of the most important American composers of the 20th century, Glass has gathered an impressive international group of musicians, dancers, poets and actors to implement his vision for this project.”
“This is an important person,” Meckel says. “[The event] is an important idea.”
The Philip Glass performance calendar on his website, philipglass.com, is stacked, but doesn’t mention Monterey County.
“On Friday,” says Glass project manager Jim Woodard, “the New York office will hit ‘send’ on a press release immediately following the [Friday] announcement.”
That’s also when the Weekly will hit “send” on a full report from the announcement on our website. This sounds like just the overture to a major event in store for Monterey County.