Words without music : a memoir

by Glass, Philip,

Format: Print Book 2015
Availability: Available at 10 Libraries 10 of 11 copies
Available (10)
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Brentwood Library Nonfiction 780.92 Glass
Location  Brentwood Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  780.92 Glass
CLP - Allegheny Regional Non-Fiction Collection ML410.G398 A3 2015
Location  CLP - Allegheny Regional
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  ML410.G398 A3 2015
CLP - Lawrenceville Non-Fiction Collection ML410.G398 A3 2015
Location  CLP - Lawrenceville
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  ML410.G398 A3 2015
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks ML410.G398 A3 2015
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks
Call Number  ML410.G398 A3 2015
Community Library of Castle Shannon Biography 92 GLASS Philip
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
Collection  Biography
Call Number  92 GLASS Philip
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 780.92 GLASS
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  780.92 GLASS
Northern Tier Regional Library Biography BIO GLASS
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  BIO GLASS
Northland Public Library Biography B GLASS
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B GLASS
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 780.92 GLA
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  780.92 GLA
Shaler North Hills Library Biography 92 GLASS
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  92 GLASS
Unavailable (1)
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CLP - Squirrel Hill Biographies IN TRANSIT
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Biographies
The long-awaited memoir by "the most prolific and popular of all contemporary composers" ( New York Times ).

A world-renowned composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores, Philip Glass has, almost single-handedly, crafted the dominant sound of late-twentieth-century classical music. Yet here in Words Without Music , he creates an entirely new and unexpected voice, that of a born storyteller and an acutely insightful chronicler, whose behind-the-scenes recollections allow readers to experience those moments of creative fusion when life so magically merged with art.

"If you go to New York City to study music, you'll end up like your uncle Henry," Glass's mother warned her incautious and curious nineteen-year-old son. It was the early summer of 1956, and Ida Glass was concerned that her precocious Philip, already a graduate of the University of Chicago, would end up an itinerant musician, playing in vaudeville houses and dance halls all over the country, just like his cigar-smoking, bantamweight uncle. One could hardly blame Mrs. Glass for worrying that her teenage son would end up as a musical vagabond after initially failing to get into Juilliard. Yet, the transformation of a young man from budding musical prodigy to world-renowned composer is the story of this commanding memoir.

From his childhood in post-World War II Baltimore to his student days in Chicago, at Juilliard, and his first journey to Paris, where he studied under the formidable Nadia Boulanger, Glass movingly recalls his early mentors, while reconstructing the places that helped shape his artistic consciousness. From a life-changing trip to India, where he met with gurus and first learned of Gandhi's Salt March, to the gritty streets of New York in the 1970s, where the composer returned, working day jobs as a furniture mover, cabbie, and an unlicensed plumber, Glass leads the life of a Parisian bohemian artist, only now transported to late-twentieth-century America.

Yet even after Glass's talent was first widely recognized with the sensational premiere of Einstein on the Beach in 1976, even after he stopped renewing his hack license and gained international recognition for operatic works like Satyagraha , Orphée , and Akhnaten , the son of a Baltimore record store owner never abandoned his earliest universal ideals throughout his memorable collaborations with Allen Ginsberg, Ravi Shankar, Robert Wilson, Doris Lessing, Martin Scorsese, and many others, all of the highest artistic order.

Few major composers are celebrated as writers, but Philip Glass, in this loving and slyly humorous autobiography, breaks across genres and re-creates, here in words, the thrill that results from artistic creation. Words Without Music ultimately affirms the power of music to change the world.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* No matter your opinion of Glass' music, you will like Glass the man. In a straightforward yet often moving voice, he details his early years at the University of Chicago; his move to New York and Juilliard (despite his mother's warning that, as a musician, he would be living in hotels and traveling for the rest of his life); his studies in Paris and, later, in India; his unbending dedication to being an artist; and, in large part, the men and women from all walks of life who would influence him as he developed the habit of attention necessary to compose in genres ranging from high-school band music to symphonies, quartets, concertos, and such operas as Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha. Glass would support his family working odd jobs part-time for years, finally becoming a full-time composer at age 41. Even so, he has lived the life, immersing himself in theater, art, literature, and music, and he relates here how the arts changed over time, the cultural loss AIDS wrought, and the evolution of his sometimes disparaged minimalist, tonalist compositions (as he posits, I'm a theater composer). Aspiring musicians and artists will learn much from Glass, as will general readers, musical or not, who will discover an artistic life exceptionally well lived.--Kinney, Eloise Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this episodic narrative of intellectual and artistic development, famed American composer Glass describes his involvement in the avant-garde music and art scenes in New York in the 1950s through the 1980s, as well as learning harmony and counterpoint in Paris from the brilliant composer and conductor Nadia Boulanger in the 1960s. He recounts touring the Indian subcontinent in search of a guru and eventually winning fame for repetitive compositions like Einstein on the Beach and Koyaanisqatsi, which delighted some listeners and enraged others. (When an annoyed audience member came up and started banging on the piano keys, Glass recalls, "I belted him across the jaw and he staggered and fell off the stage.") At its core, Glass's story is about work-he worked as a mover, a plumber, and a taxi driver to keep his family fed during his decades of obscurity, and since then he has immersed himself in the craft of composing. Glass is raptly alive to the aesthetic epiphanies, philosophy, spirituality, and magnetic personalities he has encountered, yet his prose is conversational and free of pretense. The result is a lively, absorbing read that makes Glass's rarefied cultural sphere wonderfully accessible. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Glass, Philip.
Composers -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Liveright Publishing Company,2015
Edition First edition.
Language English
Notes Includes index.
Description xii, 416 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN 9780871404381
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