EDitorial ± 16-May-2009

Philip Glass, Norwich

When I flicked through the brochure, I couldn't believe it. A hero of mine, someone whose music I've listened to for donkey's (rhubarb) years, coming to do a concert in Norwich? Seriously? Online I went PDQ and got me a ticket.

His name is Philip Glass, and his Wikipedia entry calls him "one of the most influential composers of the late-20th century". Around 25 years ago, I caught a telly performance of Glassworks, and promptly went out to a record shop (I know) to buy the LP (I know). Since then he's knocked out countless film scores, operas, symphonies, and given his name to the B-side of the great 1986 Official Colourbox World Cup Theme.

Into a hushed and packed Theatre Royal on Friday night came this small-ish figure. That'll be the announcer, I thought. No, it was The Man Himself to introduce each piece. Just him at the piano tonight. Straight into the lovely Metamorphosis 2, then 3, then 4: wonderful.

I'm sure that his music does strange things to my brain, perhaps the results of many late night sessions with his stuff playing in the background. At one point, during his Etudes ("I'll play six or seven of them, I haven't decided"), I snapped back into the room from whatever altered state I was in. Odd. He introduced one composition by saying that he'd been asked to write "something of indefinite length". No problem for Mr Glass.

The 90 minutes went far too quickly. One encore was a haunting tune entitled Night On A Balcony, which I hadn't heard before. Final encore was "Closing" from Glassworks. I was a happy chappy.