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Philip Glass - Orion; Anyone been?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DigMe, Oct 9, 2005.


  1. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    We're going to see Philip Glass's Orion this Friday in Austin. I've heard that it's not as substantive as some of his other compositions but as a Glass fan I'm still excited nonetheless. Has anyone seen it live? Any good?

    brad cook
     
  2. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Went to this concert last night. It was really enjoyable. It's kind of a multicultural thing with each section sort of representing a different culture and featuring a different artist from another country with the Philip Glass ensemble backing them all throughout. It started out with Mark Atkins playing the didgeridoo. Wow...what a tone that guy has. It was great. The Bass Concert Hall in Austin was the venue and it was filled with the sound of his (miced) didg. He had some great guttural vocalisms mixed in without with the drone going nonstop throughout the section. The didg is a great compliment to Glass's compositional style.

    Next was Wu Man, a chinese pipa virtuoso. She was probably the best part. It was great. Really, really enjoyable and incredible. Definitely had a House of Flying Daggers feel. The highlight of the show.

    After that this guy from Canada, Ashley MacIsaac, who is supposedly one of the top celtic fiddlers in the world came out. He was wearing a wife-beater, a kilt and what looked like combat boots and he had a big shock of orange hair. It was an amusing contrast to the rest of the ensemble, who all wore white suits. In fact each soloist had a colorful, cultural outfit on which was highlighted by the white suits. At the end of this piece the fiddle player did an irish jig while he played. It was somewhat impressive. At the end he kicked both legs in the air and I'm sure the front row got quite a view since he was wearing a kilt and all.

    After that Foday Musa Suso came out and played the african instrument called the kora. It was a cool sound and he was very good at it.

    The Brazil section featured the group UAKTI. They had one guy on flute and piccolo while the other two did almost all rhythmic stuff on a xylophone type thing then using some of their PVC tube creations. At the end of that Gaurav Mazumdar came out and started playing sitar while two of the UAKTI guys got out this instrument that one guy cranks on top and it starts spinning and the other has some sticks with a string attached to each end which he holds up and against the spinning tube and it makes a really cool multi-timbrel kind of sound.

    After that the Indian piece started in earnest. This guy was an incredible sitar player both in tone and playing ability. He's a pupil of Ravi Shanker, who composed this section of the piece.

    Lastly the Greece section started. This greek lady came out in a dress that was so tight it looked like it was going burst off of her butt. She sang and she had a good voice but the section was kind of ho-hum. THis should have been nearer to the beginning had the incredible China section at the end.

    At the very end though all of the soloists came back out and did little pieces and it ended with a little didg scream.

    Some of the pieces had very a very Glassian feel and were clearly recognizable as Glass compositions, while others had no resemblance to any Glass I've heard at all. Glass himself was pretty low key through the whole thing. Just sitting at his keyboard at stage left and playing backup, not drawing any attention to himself whatsoever. The whole thing is conducted by another guy whose name I cannot recall.

    Overall it was very enjoyable. Anyone who likes Glass and musics of various cultures would probably enjoy this and I'd recommend you try and catch it if it comes through your area.

    brad cook