Tyondai Braxton On His ATP Collaboration With Philip Glass

A collaboration between 33-year old former Battles leader Tyondai Braxton and 75-year old minimalist forefather Philip Glass takes place today at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival. It hardly falls under the header of WTF. In fact, it likely would have only taken a few dozen monkeys with a few dozen festivals to curate to figure out the pairing. And, in fact, many of the acts that have graced ATP's post-rock stages over the years--including Tortoise, the first show ATP founder Barry Hogan promoted--owe plenty to Glass. But that doesn't make this year's pairing any less intriguing. Braxton has mostly lain low since 2009's mammoth Central Market, a rich mind bender with the Wordless Music Orchestra, give or take other commissions from Bang On A Can and Alarm Will Sound. Along with the New York debut of Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo Hanging Guitar piece, the Braxton/Glass collaboration holds down the experimental corner of this eclectic bill.

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Six Concerts That You Can Perform In Today, Even If The Only Musical Instrument You Own Is Your Voice

via Make Music NY
A group of flutists at a previous Make Music NY event.
Today is Make Music NY, a citywide explosion of free live music that stretches from the Rockaways to Tottenville to Riverdale—if you leave your house today, there's a good chance that in addition to sweating, you'll hear at least one musician sawing away at their craft. One crucial part of the Make Music NY festivities is the Mass Appeal initiative, in which non-professional musicians are invited to join concerts happening all around the city. The centerpiece event of Mass Appeal is taking place tonight in Times Square, when any non-laryngitic people in the area are invited to add their voice to a choral performance that includes the world premiere of "The New Rule," a new work by Philip Glass. But those of you who have ukuleles, clarinets, or bagpipes can join in on the fun, too. Sound of the City's top six picks for today's "show up and play" gigs below.

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Live: Philip Glass Shows Off His Influence At ISSUE Project Room

Philip Glass w/Nate Wooley, Antoine Silverman, and Stephin Merritt
ISSUE Project Room
Wednesday, June 13

Better than: The sound of one hand clapping.

Philip Glass spoke briefly. It was to be expected from a minimalist so staunch that he chooses not to identify himself with the movement he helped define. He sat down at the piano, all Zen calm, and began to coax out trance-inducing arpeggios, emotion recollected in tranquility yet cold as his namesake, with the brilliant awkwardness of Glenn Gould and the fiery charisma of Freddie Mercury. Just as Mr. Miyagi found a beautiful simplicity in painting a picket fence in The Karate Kid, Glass finds so much in so little.

They say that an artist sits in a room surrounded by all his influences, then one by one they leave until he's all alone, and finally, he exits the room altogether. Cocteau and Cage couldn't be there, but at a spry 75, the elder statesman of contemporary classical still seeks inspiration in many of those he inspired. Among these acolytes are avant-noise trumpeter Nate Wooley, violinist Antoine Silverman, and Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt, all of whom wouldn't ordinarily share a stage. But in the first of a three-night series devoted to Glass's sweeping legacy and collaborations, he provided a common denominator that transcends genre.

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Sonic Youth (5) Gets Experimental With Philip Glass (4) In SOTC's March Madness

Sound of the City's search for the quintessential New York City musician enters Round Two this week, with battles in the Round of 32 daily. Keep up with all the action here.


During the first sound of SOTC' March Madness, Sonic Youth drowned Arthur Russell in feedback, and The Fugs were no match for Philip Glass' hypnotic repetitions. But now the two downtown experimental music legends will battle each other to see who's really the Don of Dissonance.

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SOTC March Madness: Philip Glass (4) And The Fugs (13) Have It Out Downtown

‚ÄčThe Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—finishes up this week, with the Round of 32 scheduled to kick off Monday. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) Taking a cue from our neighbors at the Curbed Network, we're going to have a power hour—new polls every 15 minutes until 4 p.m., at which point we'll reveal more results. Our bottom-of-the-hour matchup goes Downtown, where Philip Glass goes toe-to-toe with the Fugs. Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for the musician that you think should move on to the next round.

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Q&A: Philip Glass On The Meaning Of Love

Steve Pyke
We've spent the past month publishing our conversations with East Village and Voice neighbor Philip Glass. For our last installment, we pulled a question out of our hat from our days traveling around the country in recording oral history in an Airstream trailer...

I spent a year working for the NPR StoryCorps project, and a question I saw people ask each other a lot at the end of interviews, which I found so fascinating to hear people from different walks of life, was just asking the person: what do you think love is? And I'd love to hear if you had thoughts on that.

Well that's a very interesting idea. That's a very interesting question.

We have very different dimensions of it, but I don't want to throw the question entirely back at you.

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Live: Philip Glass Brings Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, And Music In 12 Parts To The Park Avenue Armory

The Park Avenue Armory on Friday night.
This year's Park Avenue Armory Tune-In Music Festival was dedicated to honoring composer Philip Glass (who, in turn, turned over a large chunk of it to honoring Allen Ginsberg). Sound of the City attended three of the weekend's five offerings, which closed out a month of musical events around the city celebrating Glass and his 75th birthday.

The Poet Speaks: Patti Smith, Philip Glass, Lenny Kaye, Jesse Smith, and the poetry of Allen Ginsberg
Park Avenue Armory
Friday, February 24

Better than: Every Occupy Wall Street musical act.

The Park Avenue Armory is one of the grandest, most amazing performance spaces in New York City, but Friday's performance began simply and intimately. Philip Glass and Patti Smith, two icons of a certain age, walked out onstage with their arms around each others' shoulders, like two old friends. The carpets in front of the stage, where people in the cheapest (and best) seats in the house, worked at recreating the environment, as Glass described to us, of his loft decades ago. Though a recreating, the effect worked.

What did not work—in fact, what would be an unfortunate undercurrent through out the festival—was the sound system. No one could hear poor Smith as she started to address the audience, who seemed surprisingly nervous to begin with and who looked downright spooked as people shouted, "Louder! Louder!! LOUDER!!!" at her.

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Clip Job: Tom Johnson's Original 1972 Voice Review Of Philip Glass's "Music in 12 Parts"

Throughout this month, in conjunction with our Feb. 1 cover story "Philip Glass, An East Village Voice," Sound of the City will post excepts of interviews with Glass and his collaborators, as well as reviews of several concerts celebrating his 75th birthday.

Today we dial back to longtime Voice music writer Tom Johnson. In our interview with Glass, he credited Johnson (who is also a composer) with being the only music writer covering the scene downtown when he was getting started, as "The New York Times, for example—they had a rule that they didn't review any art events below 14th Street... Believe it or not, that was a policy of the paper!" Glass has even reportedly told others that he believes Johnson coined the term "minimalism."

Before we head off to the Park Avenue Armory to see Philip Glass perform his epic, mammoth five-hour long "Music in 12 Parts" tomorrow night, we thought we'd take a look at Johnson's review of the same piece exactly four decades ago.

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Q&A: Philip Glass On The Economics of Art And Music

"Make a note!" Glass in an old, rare endorsement for...Cutty Sark?
Every day this month, in conjunction with our Feb. 1 cover story "Philip Glass, An East Village Voice," Sound of the City will post excepts of interviews with Glass and his collaborators, as well as reviews of several concerts celebrating his 75th birthday.

In this segment of our interview, we discuss the intersection of economics, art and music. As we noted in our cover story, Glass started his recording company with a $1,000 loan from the Hebrew Loan Society. The landscape for such sources of capital has changed drastically since Glass first arrived in the city, and the reality of digital downloads (something Glass has largely accepted) has dried up many sources of revenue.

So how else is the artist to get paid for their work—especially in New York City? Glass says this if his music is used commercially:

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Live: Das Racist, Rahzel, Laurie Anderson And Many Others Play Philip Glass's Tibet House Benefit At Carnegie Hall

Philip Glass and Friends Tibet House U.S. Benefit w/Laurie Anderson, Tim Fain, Das Racist, Antony, Lou Reed, Stephin Merritt, and Rahzel
Carnegie Hall
Monday, February 13

Better than: Seeing how most ethnic Tibetans live.

Last night's all-star benefit at Carnegie Hall began with a performance by eight unnamed monks from the Drepung Monestary, who entered the hall in silence. The saffron-robed throat singers (each of whom wore a striking orange headpiece reminiscent of a Roman centurion's) took the stage like religious royalty being received by devoted followers. They used microphones that were hardly necessary; their throaty chants sounded like (and carried as strongly as) didgeridoos throughout the hall. It was a pretty surprising and impressive thing to look around the dress circle in Carnegie Hall and see dozens of people with their eyes closed and their hands folded in silent prayer.

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