Sunday, 19 January 2020

Philip Glass / Robert Wilson ‎– "Einstein On The Beach" (Tomato TOM-4-2901) 1978

The first 'Minimalist' Opera, was bizarrely, the birthing music selected selected by my then significant other, for the difficult birth of my daughter back in 1999,long with the "Songs of the Humpback Whale" and Holgar Czukay's "Movies" no wonder she didn't want to come out.
In fact she had to dragged out with the Ventouse,which is basically a plunger. 
If i had played something a bit more 'fun' she may have made more of an effort to enter this troubled world, maybe Plastic Bertrand or The Ramones? But no, she got this po-faced neo-classical minimalist opera,with words replaced with chanted numbers,and some mumbled narration.
I knew there was something amiss when I played Joy Division during her gestation period and she started to kick and squirm in the womb like the alien that punched its way out of John Hurts chest.She also had the privilege to attend a Fall gig, which instigated a similar violent reaction.
I don't even know what music she listens to now, if any, 'cus like all of the millenials, she's constantly plugged in,or as Cliff Richard called it, "Wired For Sound". (If I could, I'd have a make over and look like Cliff in that video as a refreshing image change!...honest?)
You all know what this album sounds like surely?.....think of any Philip Glass music you know,if any(?),stretch it out and add the cast of 'A Chorus Line'(Who says they don't make funny music anymore?) to the equation chanting 1,2,3,4, over and over again at varying speeds and you end up alongside Einstein, on a beach.
There are few occassions I have stood open-mouthed with no words, witnessing a spectacle that is beyond my comphrehension,.....nooooo NOT Glass's Einstein On The Beach......I'm talking about Richard Attenboroughs film version of "A Chorus Line".....shockingly baaaad,but equally hilarious.
If we played the soundtrack of "A Chorus Line"(Download HERE!) at my daughters birth I think she'd still be in the womb to this day!....Life IS HELL!


Knee Play 1
Act I, Scene 1: Train
Act I, Scene 2: Trial
Knee Play 2
Act II, Scene 1: Dance 1 (Field With Spaceship)
Act II, Scene 2: Night Train
Knee Play 3
Act III, Scene 1: Trial/Prison
Act III, Scene 2: Dance 2 (Field With Spaceship)
Knee Play 4
Act IV, Scene 1: Building/Train
Act IV, Scene 2: Bed
Act IV, Scene 3: Spaceship
Knee Play 5


kevinesse said...

at the risk of earning your scorn, i gotta say i LOVE einstein on the beach (einstein on the fritz, as peter shickley called it) was my first glass and still handily my favorite. Played blastingly loud really brings it to life in my ears....

Jonny Zchivago said...

Dunno why you think i'm scornful of your EOTB admiration. I think I said I like it too...somewhere...hidden between the lines?.....but come on, if you saw it live its gotta be an uptown intellectual version of 'A Chorus Line' you gotta admit?....imagine Glass and Wilson at the auditions, and the dancers and singers desperately wanting the job.....hey, i might write a musical based on this very scenario, i'm casting you as Glass......strictly very off braodway.

rev.b said...

Never thought I’d own a copy of A Chorus Line, in any form. This’ll sit well along with all those noisy DIY cassettes. Think I’ll pick one at random and play it along with this. That oughta be a laugh.

Jonny Zchivago said...

I'm always a fan of playing two things at the same time...there are some unrepeatable moments to be enjoyed....especially with some of that ridiculous sung dialogue.....I neeed this job my welfare check is late etc.....some people think this stuff is entertainment!?

Compo said...

I am happy that Experimental Music resulted to something so productive as the Minimal Music. No other 'experiment' could be used to make a whole opera, let alone a nice one!