Saturday, September 9, 2017
Probably the greatest opera of the Twentieth Century
Being around five hours long there are many following acts along with the between the act knee plays to be found on youtube. Also, because of its length, the composer Philip Glass encouraged people in the audience to walk about if they wanted - say, to go to the bathroom or whatever. This aspect makes the opera have something of the spirit of ambient music: something that's there like a surrounding to which one is not supposed to give too intense a listening attention. Which is actually a different kind of attention - not inattentiveness.
This seems to me the future of music. I remember reading about the Era of Peace in which a kind of ambient music will permeate the very atmosphere, without speakers and electronics. And people will be able to compose it somehow and it will be sort of ongoing in the rhythm with people's day to day lives, but not at all in an enslaving way as though one wouldn't be able to "turn it off". Like a breaking free from the rigid constraints of written bars and so forth, it will be in union with the music of the spheres. Not papered away in a book until it gets performed. What's interesting is how this ambient-leaning way which encourages spontaneity, like jazz, brings music closer to what liturgical music does, whereas the classical notion of traditional forms gets stuffy and musty and falls into meaningless decadence.