early voice is very different from a descent into the maelstr√Ä√úm. i had a really hard time listening to over 50 minutes of another look at harmony, part 4. regular readers might know that i am very fond of sound pattern phasing (and other variations on a theme). unfortunately the two pieces on early voice, dating from the early seventies, sound very flat and monotonous.
not that i doubt its value in a historical perspective, but that is where it ends. this type of work marks the early stages of minimalism, and makes way for stronger compositions such as music in 12 parts. this is hinted at multiple times in the short text in the inlay:
The repeating patterns of “Music for Voices” were assembled into an informal score which divided the performers into pairs. In this performance eight people sat in a circle facing inwards. Each singer’s part rose and fell in volume in a regular pattern and the entry of each voice coincided with the dynamic peak of its partner. The use of solfage as text for the unaccompanied vocal parts is a hint as to what is coming later in “Music in 12 Parts” and the groundbreaking “Einstein on the Beach”. The handclapping heard on this recording is Philip Galss signaling to the performers when to start the next pattern.
and about another look at harmony:
This piece marks the arrival of harmonic motion but not a departure from the structural concerns and rhythmic intricacy of the earlier works -leading us right up to the watershed, “Einstein on The Beach”.
(it was abit awkward mentioning this since i have yet to listen to einstein on the beach. i’ll repent soon.)
from a historical perspective is an important asset in the collection of a real philip glass fan. but for a regular listener it’s way past its bedtime now.