Homage to Philip Glass
This week I’ve been working on an adaptation of a solo violin piece by NYC composer, Jeremiah Bornfield, called Homage to Philip Glass. I’ve been looking for some new solo pieces that are a bit quirky and off the beaten path since live performance is still technically illegal due to the pandemic. It still seems unsafe to get a bunch of wind players together in a small space so I’m trying to use the time to work out some new solo repertoire possibilities.
This piece, which I think is instantly evocative of Glass’s music, achieves its effect through some very typically Glass harmonic structures and the use of repetition. The performer is instructed to repeat each one-measure melodic idea as many times as he or she likes, while varying the tempo and dynamic. It’s kind of a fun and meditative way to perform.
I would have loved to have been around in the late 50’s and early 60’s when people like Jon Gibson were performing works like Glass’s Gradus in lofts and galleries in Manhattan and to me, this work is sort of evocative of that kind of performance.