Art of Glass

Authorised by Mr Glass himself

The Art of Glass

Art of Glass is a concert featuring composer Philip Glass’ pre-Einstein on the Beach experimental process music from a period when the composer was little known outside of a small New York loft scene and his music was a profound alternative to Euro-modernism. Over the years, as Minimalism has become more style than concept, the term has become something of a conservative war-cry. In this concert we hope to recapture the bold experimental aesthetic that underpins the music’s origins. This is music stripped to its bare essentials, mechanical patterns repeated again and again. It will either irritate the hell out of people or induce a wonderful hypnotic state of listening. Philip Glass has authorised us to perform these works usually reserved for his own ensemble. We find ourselves in the curious position of being the first band outside the Philip Glass Ensemble to perform works such as Music In Fifths.

The concert features a new work by Damien Ricketson created with Melbourne poet Christopher Wallace-Crabbe. A Line Has Two, is a spacious meditation on time and impermanence. Temporal references pervade the music’s structure, drawing a boundary between the familiar and the unfamiliar, from citations of Strauss and Mahler to exotic instrumentation such as the Tusut, an ancient Arabic glass instrument, and the ancient Greek aulos.


Damien Ricketson — A Line Has Two – text by Christopher Wallace Crabbe (2004 world premiere)

Philip Glass — Piece in the Shape of a Square (1964 Australian premiere)

Philip Glass – Music in Fifths (1969 Australian premiere)

Philip Glass — Music in Similar Motion (1969 Australian premiere)


Roland Peelman (conductor/keyboards)

Alison Morgan (soprano)
James Eccles (viola)
Kathleen Gallagher & Michael Sitsky (flutes
Jason Noble & Diana Springford (—clarinet
James Nightingale (saxophone/aulos)
John Dewhurst & Bree van Reyk (percussion)

Past Performances

Sydney Opera House, The Studio, 8pm Thursday 29th July, 2004

Media & Acclaim

“This Ensemble Offspring Concert was a tribute to the foresight of the director/programmer in choosing these highly influential early minimalist works. It is hard to listen to these compositions in 2004 and not be reminded of Brian Eno, David Bowie, Robert Fripp and other composers who caught this bug from 1970 onwards and made it their own, helping to build a whole genre of creative, accessible new music that we now take for granted.” Full review here

RealTime Arts


Download concert program here