Words Without Music

Words Without Music

A Memoir

Book - 2015
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The composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores examines his own life and career.
A world-renowned composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores, Glass has, almost single-handedly, crafted the dominant sound of late-twentieth-century classical music. Here his behind-the-scenes recollections allow readers to experience those moments of creative fusion when life so magically merged with art. From his childhood in post-World War II Baltimore to his student days in Chicago, at Julliard, 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.
Publisher: New York :, Liveright Publishing Company, a division of W.W. Norton & Company,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780871404381
Characteristics: xii, 416 pages, 16 un-numbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm


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Oct 11, 2016

This is the best book on Glass to date. Naturally it's his biography. The information is quite incredible. What a life this guy had (and still has). The only downside is that maybe all his travels in India (and elsewhere) after Paris is a tad tedious with all his gurus and his practice of yoga and religious belief. But, that's him, I suppose. All in all a great book with information you won't find anywhere else.

Oct 12, 2015

I'm not a musician. I don't even know anything about Western Music nor am I into Pop Music; yet I found this book really interesting. Philip Glass has made the making of an opera come to life.When Glass sees that "drawing is about seeing, dancing is about moving, writing is about speaking, and music is about hearing," he won me over. I love listening to music and now I know that that is what music is!

May 15, 2015

A very informative and entertaining autobiography filled with anecdotes and highlights of an active musical life. Woven through the memoir is Glass' effort to explain 'what music is' and 'where music comes from' for the composer. Glass recounts his experiences with other artists in poetry, stage drama, painting, sculpting, and film in India, Paris, and New York City. His music is strongly influenced by his broad exposure to our world of music. The book includes some black and white photographs; and a helpful index. This book might have been improved if it had been accompanied by a compact disk narrated by Glass to illustrate some of his concepts of sound and music.


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May 15, 2015

"When someone says 'How do you write music for a film?' I say to them truthfully, 'I look at the film and I write down the music.' I don't make music to go with the film, I write the music that 'is' the film. ... This alignment is made through a conscious, nonverbal, contemplative activity. Once the alignment between [the composer] and the dramatic material is estalbished, a link is made on a deep, nonconceptual level between the material and one's inner musical voice (p. 392)".


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