Hydrogen Jukebox

Hydrogen Jukebox

by Philip Glass
     
 

A departure for Glass and a new direction for Ginsberg, Hydrogen Jukebox is a great piece of work from two greats in the field of "new art" for the 20th century. The title, borrowed from Ginsberg's poem "Howl," is a dual reference to an American mentality that self-restricts its input -- as well as a body ofSee more details below

Overview

A departure for Glass and a new direction for Ginsberg, Hydrogen Jukebox is a great piece of work from two greats in the field of "new art" for the 20th century. The title, borrowed from Ginsberg's poem "Howl," is a dual reference to an American mentality that self-restricts its input -- as well as a body of music that "begins to shake the bones" with the violence of a hydrogen bomb. Glass here becomes more pronounced with his political statements, and Ginsberg orchestrates particularly potent excerpts of his work to comprise an hour-long opera. This is a marked departure from Glass' signature interwoven fabrics of sound. Not that the epic length arpeggios are gone, but they do not signify the total of the music itself. In places, the score approaches rock music in feel. There is beautiful work by the vocal ensemble. A surprising and unexpected element comes in the form of Ginsberg's own voice, whose unique sense of inflection draws the confused listener in; no matter what he is saying, Ginsberg always sounds like he is delivering great news. One of the stronger imperatives here is a call to action for the people of America -- not to sit idly while the world continues to happen around them. There are many strong Buddhist references on this disc (both Glass and Ginsberg are adherents). The only low point is that it may be very off-putting to those familiar with Ginsberg's work to hear many of these oft-repeated passages again -- this time put to music. It would have been most exciting to hear new or unreleased work from Ginsberg for this production. To the initiated it comes off like reheating a soufflé. Barring that, this is a strong piece of work with some of Glass' most exciting musical outings in many years. ~ Mark W. B. Allender

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/1993
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597928624
catalogNumber:
79286

Tracks

  1. Part 1: Song No.1 (From "Iron Horse")
  2. Part 2: Song No.12 (From "N.S.A. Dope Calypso")
  3. Part 1: Song No.2 ("Jahweh and Alliah Battle")
  4. Part 2: Song No.14 ("Ayers Rock"/"Uluru Song"/"Thr  - Elizabeth Futral
  5. Part 1: Song No.3 (From "Iron Horse") [Medley]
  6. Part 1: Song No.4 ("To P.O.")
  7. Part 1: Song No.5 ("Over Denver Again. . . ")
  8. Part 1: Song No.6 (From "Wichita Vortex Sutra")  - Elizabeth Futral
  9. Part 2: Song No.7 (From "Howl Part II")
  10. Part 2: Song No.8 (From "Cabin in the Rockies")  - Richard Fracker  - Mary Ann Hart  - Elizabeth Futral
  11. Part 2: Song No.9 (From "Nagaasaki Days (Numbers i
  12. Part 2: Song No.10 ("Aunt Rose")
  13. Part 2: Song No.11 (From "The Green Automobile")
  14. Part 2: Song No.13 (From "Nagasaki Days (Everybody [Medley]  - Nathaniel Watson
  15. Part 2: Song No.15 Father Death Blues (From "Don'

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Philip Glass   Primary Artist,Piano
Martin Goldray   Conductor,Keyboards,Synthesizer
Allen Ginsberg   Narrator,Track Performer
Elizabeth Futral   Soprano (Vocal)
Michele A. Eaton   Soprano (Vocal)
Richard Fracker   Tenor (Vocal)
Mary Ann Hart   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Nathaniel Watson   Baritone (Vocal)
Gregory Purnhagen   Baritone (Vocal)
Andrew Sterman   Bass Clarinet,Soprano Saxophone
Richard Peck   Tenor Saxophone
Carol Wincenc   Flute
Frank Cassara   Percussion
Jim Pugliese   Percussion
Miles Green   Synthesizer

Technical Credits

Allen Ginsberg   Poetry
Laura Fried   Engineer
Ann Pope   Engineer
Kurt Munkasci   Producer
Michael Riesman   Producer
Jerome Sirlin   Production Design
Martin Goldray   Programming
Miles Green   Programming

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