Phillip Glass performs Drift 2010
If any show being staged in the grand old (but newly renovated) Usher Hall counts as being an intimate one, then this is it. The American composer Philip Glass, famed for his film scores, operas and popular collaborations, will be performing a set of chamber music here, playing on his own at the piano and then in collaboration with cellist Wendy Sutter and multi-instrumentalist Mick Rossi, both regular collaborators and the latter a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Glass’ solo set will consist of excerpts from the pieces Metamorphosis and Etudes for Piano, both of which are composed in the haunting, minimalist style with which his name is now synonymous. The former, from 1988, was a cycle of five movements adapted from Glass’ own scores for a theatrical adaptation of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and from Errol Morris’ documentary film of the same year The Thin Blue Line, while the latter was a set of ten movements composed between 1994 and 1995.
Subtitled Drift 2010, this evening will continue with excerpts from Glass’ 1981 Glassworks album, an attempt to tailor his work for a popular audience, and from Godfrey Reggio’s 2002 arthouse documentary Naqoyqatsi, the concluding third of Reggio and Glass’ almost twenty-year collaboration on the Qatsi Trilogy begun by 1983’s Koyaanisqatsi and continued in 1988 with Powaggatsi. Finally, the centrepiece of the show is 2007’s Songs and Poems for Solo Cello, seven movements written entirely for Sutter. Like most of this essential show, it will be a debut performance for Scottish audiences.