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Glassbreaks
April 29, 2010 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Einstein on the Beast. Evening High. Lil' Tut. Highlights from a dj BC album, Glassbreaks, that samples Philip Glass's opera Einstein on the Beach. (Previously.)
posted by Rory Marinich (35 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
These mash-ups were made for fun,
and as a demonstration of my remixing abilities.
They are no longer available on this website.


Well, that just sucks.

Listen and such to the complete album in full via WFMU.
posted by hippybear at 10:28 PM on April 29, 2010


(oh, and I should add... I f'in LOVE Einstein On The Beach. I've never seen it performed, but the 4-LP vinyl set has gotten plenty of luvvin in our household)
posted by hippybear at 10:31 PM on April 29, 2010


I found Torley in the sidebar, he's a hoot.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:35 PM on April 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


These comments were made for fun,
and as a demonstration of my leet reparte.
They are no longer available on this website.

posted by StickyCarpet at 10:40 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was quite disappointed by that - I was really hoping that the style of mashup would mirror Glass' minimalist style. E.g. the same bit of acapella looping over and over again but varying slightly each time.

Instead he just chopped up a bit of Glass' music that he liked and dumped a Phat Beat on it and some hip-hop acapellas.
posted by awfurby at 11:08 PM on April 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Philip Glass vs. Hiphop: Whichever one wins, we lose.
posted by Bromius at 11:13 PM on April 29, 2010


Disappointing.
About as creative as adding a claptrack to Madame Butterfly.

(likes hiphop, loves Glass)
posted by HTuttle at 11:29 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's next, Stockhausen vs. Aphex Twin?
posted by benzenedream at 12:57 AM on April 30, 2010


There is an Aphex Twin remix of a Philip Glass cover of a David Bowie and Brian Eno
song. It's haunting.

And, Torley is awesome. I remember him from mp3.com. Another guy who used to post on mp3c, Captain Ahab, did an album called "Einstein on the Bitch." (Or maybe it was just one song, it was 10 years ago and I don't remember exactly.) It was pretty good. He also did an awesome version of 4'33, where he recorded nothing for 4'33 seconds (like Alvin Lucier) and remixed the nothingness into a slamming track.
posted by ifandonlyif at 4:15 AM on April 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am surprised it took so long - both hiphop and minimalism are often just glorified ostinato.
posted by idiopath at 4:31 AM on April 30, 2010


benzenedream: "Stockhausen vs. Aphex Twin"

Some folks made a really good album of noise / minimal electronic / plunderphonic remixes of Xenakis.
posted by idiopath at 4:33 AM on April 30, 2010


You might do a great service if you would provide a link to where they explain magnets at Insane Clown Posse reading and speaking comprehension levels.
posted by bukvich at 4:52 AM on April 30, 2010


It's on Demonoid. I rocked them on my iPod last summer. Made for good driving music.

Unfortunately, Demonoid is pretty much down. Bitter fate!

(Sorry if it's not kosher to name P2P sites for downloading mashups)
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:57 AM on April 30, 2010


In that spirit, ART RAPS, with dj BC once again mixing the low culture of the new millennium with midcentury high culture. Files still available from his site, too.
posted by ardgedee at 5:38 AM on April 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


My wife and I had 'Knee Play 5' performed at our wedding. It was fantastic. In the hubbub of wedding planning, we decided to put together a stripped-down ensemble-- my cousin was already going to be playing viola at the wedding, his partner plays piano, one of our friends is a classically-trained opera singer, my dad is a professional composer and could arrange the score (he was also going to bring some of his recording equipment so we could have all the music from the ceremony later on)-- and, in the middle of doing a thousand different things (who can get to the suburbs to pick up a potted orchid? When do her parents get into town and where are they going to stay? Do we have enough cars to get everyone to the rehearsal?) I sent a semi-panicky email to everyone I knew who had any knowledge of music publishing to see if they could get a copy of the score at a library or something. My cousin (the viola player) said he'd handle it, and I left everything in my dad's hands.

At some point in the week leading up to the wedding, I was tasked with getting a fax of the score and emailing copies everyone, and so I found myself standing by the fax machine at work and watching sheet music come in. I was surprised to see that what we had was hand-written. Philip Glass scores are even simpler than they sound-- it was a couple of pages of mostly quarter notes with a few hand-written tempo directions.

At the rehearsal-- I didn't hear this part until after we got back from the honeymoon-- my dad was joking with my cousin about the oddness of having a piece from a minimalist opera performed at a wedding, and he said something along the lines of 'Do you think it's weird that someone wanted Einstein on the Beach for their wedding ceremony?' and my cousin said 'It isn't the first time.' Which, well, my cousin is fairly well-versed in contemporary chamber music, so he would know, wouldn't he? So my dad said 'What do you think Philip Glass would think about this?' and my cousin said, 'Oh, he knows.'

'He knows?' said my dad.

Apparently when my cousin, who is, again, fairly well-versed in the world of contemporary music, said that he would handle getting the score for 'Knee Play 5,' he called Philip Glass, who then faxed his copy of 'Knee Play 5' to me.

'He's really curious to hear how it sounds,' said my cousin.

So apparently, while my wife and I were off gallivanting around Europe for a week, Philip Glass was sitting at home, listening to my wedding. I hope he heard how beautiful it was.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:36 AM on April 30, 2010 [232 favorites]


The obligatory awesome Phillip Glass performance link. You may remember the song, "lightning", from The Fog of War.
posted by idiopath at 6:42 AM on April 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


Sidebar shakeshpeherian! Also do you have a shareable copy of the recording?
posted by bukvich at 7:35 AM on April 30, 2010


Sure. I think this will work (never used FileDropper before, let me know if it doesn't work): Knee Play 5
posted by shakespeherian at 8:21 AM on April 30, 2010 [21 favorites]


It's my wife's dad doing the spoken word bit, by the way.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:22 AM on April 30, 2010


i'd like to have heard something a bit more adventurous going on rhythmically. the reich remixed album suffered from the same problem - rather than actually engage with the material, it just got used as icing on a not very interesting cake.

maybe i shouldn't be taking it that seriously though...
posted by peterkins at 8:24 AM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


peterkins: yes, this is the problem with many attempts to mix pop music with other music - the ostinato is like a lowest common denominator of musical structure, and turns all other inputs into variation of timbre in an otherwise fixed form.

I found this to be the case with the ART RAPS linked above. Mind you I thought that they were very well done, but doing something doomed to failure. Except for the Wireless Fantasy remix they destroyed almost all structural content of the source music in order to make the beats work. And the Wireless Fantasy piece ends up feeling awkward and sloppy because of its remaining non ostinato structure.

So it seems as if the choices end up being a) it works as pop music but the source material is eviscerated and retains none of its life, or b) the original structure shows through and it fails as pop music.
posted by idiopath at 8:32 AM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is by some measure the coolest wedding story I've heard. Very good performance, too - is your father-in-law practised in the art?

I'd never think of that as wedding music, but kudos^maxint for the whole caboodle.
posted by Devonian at 8:36 AM on April 30, 2010


He's a Lutheran minister with an extensive musical background, so he has all the qualifications without any real targeted training, I guess you could say.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:39 AM on April 30, 2010


This is a surprisingly rich thread. Jesus.
posted by maudlin at 8:52 AM on April 30, 2010


> i'd like to have heard something a bit more adventurous going on rhythmically. the reich remixed album suffered from the same problem - rather than actually engage with the material, it just got used as icing on a not very interesting cake.

I have the Reich Remixed album and think it's interesting and almost-but-not-quite successful.

There is ostinato, as idiopath points out, but I think the problem lies elsewhere. To my mind most remixes force Glass's or Reich's complex and shifting tempo structures -- a significant part of what distinguishes them as composers -- into a strict 4/4 meter with four, eight, or sixteen bars, because that's how sequencers and rhythm machines work.

The most interesting of the tracks on Reich Remixed, I thought, were Tranquility Bass' Megamix and Nobukazu Takemura's version of Proverb. Megamix worked for me because Tranquility Bass creates a kind of Steve Reich's Greatest Hits On 45 but, and this is kind of hard to explain, in a Steve Reich-ish way - a shifting palette of rhythms and timbres, but using entire compositions as his source material rather than with instruments and tape loops. On the other hand, Takemura loosely wraps Proverb in a shell, shoots it into the atmosphere, and explodes it - the result is something that doesn't sound like Proverb but is not unlike it either.
posted by ardgedee at 9:11 AM on April 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


ardgedee: "To my mind most remixes force Glass's or Reich's complex and shifting tempo structures -- a significant part of what distinguishes them as composers -- into a strict 4/4 meter with four, eight, or sixteen bars, because that's how sequencers and rhythm machines work."

Excellent point. I had a friend who was a master with ableton live and could make remixes very easily, until he tried to do a Miami Sound Machine remix for that Colbert remix contest a little while back - latin rhythms and his tools just did not play very well together (or maybe he just did not know how to use the tool for that purpose, I know very little about live myself).

The more intelligent the tools that music makers use, the more that the genre conventions are enforced by the technology rather than by artist decisions. I guess it is the classic ease of use vs. power problem you get everywhere with software.
posted by idiopath at 9:30 AM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


To my mind most remixes force Glass's or Reich's complex and shifting tempo structures -- a significant part of what distinguishes them as composers -- into a strict 4/4 meter with four, eight, or sixteen bars, because that's how sequencers and rhythm machines work.

i don't think that's quite the case. it's possible to do compound signatures and all that, even in garageband. it's just laziness that makes people stick to fours, eights and sixteens. what is hard (as idiopath points out) is to generate the subtler aspects of groove - swing, feel, etc. the stuff that quantisation destroys.
posted by peterkins at 9:47 AM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can always recognize Philip Glass compositions by what I call the "twiddles", compact little up-and-down flourishes that you can hear in damn near everything the man composes.

I do occasionally like his soundtrack work (Fog of War, for instance), but God, Einstein on the Beach makes me want to stab my eyes out.
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:46 AM on April 30, 2010


I loved dj BC's Beastles albums. I'm excited to listen to this when I get home
posted by rmless at 3:11 PM on April 30, 2010


dephlogisticated: Einstein on the Beach makes me want to stab my eyes out.

But if you do that, you'll still be listening to Einstein on the Beach, only you'll also be blind.
posted by twirlip at 4:09 PM on April 30, 2010 [11 favorites]


Thanks for sharing the music, shakespeherian! I just listened to it and really liked it.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 4:50 PM on April 30, 2010


shakespherian I listened and liked. Thank you. Your family sounds awesome.
posted by bukvich at 6:37 PM on April 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


That is so, so great, shakesphearian. Thanks for sharing.
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 10:18 PM on April 30, 2010


Two lovers sat on a park bench, with their bodies touching each other, holding hands in the moonlight.

There was silence between them. So profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it. And so they sat in silence, on a park bench, with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

Finally she spoke. “Do you love me, John?” she asked. “You know I love you, darling,” he replied. “I love you more than tongue can tell. You are the light of my life, my sun, moon and stars. You are my everything. Without you I have no reason for being.”

Again there was silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench, their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight. Once more she spoke. “How much do you love me, John?” she asked. He answered: “How much do I love you? Count the stars in the sky. Measure the waters of the oceans with a teaspoon. Number the grains of sand on the sea shore. Impossible, you say.”

posted by ovvl at 8:08 PM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Knock, knock! Who's there?
Knock, knock! Who's there?
Knock, knock! Who's there?
Knock, knock! Who's there?
Knock, knock! Who's there?
Knock, knock! Who's there?

Phillip Glass.
posted by crunchland at 12:27 PM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


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