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Philip Glass: Orion

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
When it comes right down to it, the music of Philip Glass is simply one of those love-it-or-hate-it propositions: most people find his signature technique relentlessly repeating arpeggios with minimal harmonic movement and even less rhythmic variation to be either frantically, hair-pullingly dull or mystically transcendent. So the idea behind a project like Orion seems a bit curious. Here Glass has written brief pieces designed to showcase a variety of world music traditions, including those of China, the Gambia, Brazil, Canada in this case the Scottish-derived music of Nova Scotia, and Australia, among others. His collaborators include some fairly big names: fiddler ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
When it comes right down to it, the music of Philip Glass is simply one of those love-it-or-hate-it propositions: most people find his signature technique relentlessly repeating arpeggios with minimal harmonic movement and even less rhythmic variation to be either frantically, hair-pullingly dull or mystically transcendent. So the idea behind a project like Orion seems a bit curious. Here Glass has written brief pieces designed to showcase a variety of world music traditions, including those of China, the Gambia, Brazil, Canada in this case the Scottish-derived music of Nova Scotia, and Australia, among others. His collaborators include some fairly big names: fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar, griot and kora player Foday Musa Suso, and so on. Everyone plays enthusiastically and well and the music is unfailingly pleasant, but nothing here is likely to win over those who tend toward the hair-pulling end of the spectrum of responses to Glass's music. These pieces are probably more effective in the live setting for which they were intended than they are on disc, where they generally come across as pleasant and goodheartedly multicultural, but not terribly exciting. As he often does, MacIsaac brings a special energy to the "Canada" track, and Uakti's performance on "Brazil" is also worth noting. Otherwise, this will be of interest primarily to world fusion fanatics and Glass's large cult following.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/12/2005
  • Label: Orange Mountain
  • UPC: 801837002126
  • Catalog Number: 21
  • Sales rank: 30,433

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Australia - Philip Glass Ensemble (12:14)
  2. 2 Interlude: Australia & China - Philip Glass Ensemble (2:18)
  3. 3 China - Philip Glass Ensemble (9:48)
  4. 4 Canada - Philip Glass Ensemble (10:47)
  5. 5 Interlude: Canada & The Gambia - Philip Glass Ensemble (2:24)
  6. 6 The Gambia - Philip Glass Ensemble (15:00)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Brazil - Philip Glass Ensemble (10:24)
  2. 2 Interlude: Brazil & India - Philip Glass Ensemble (3:38)
  3. 3 India - Philip Glass Ensemble (12:51)
  4. 4 Greece - Philip Glass Ensemble (11:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Philip Glass Primary Artist, Keyboards
Foday Musa Suso Kora
Uakti Ensemble
Wu Man Pipa
Richard Peck Tenor Saxophone
Michael Riesman Keyboards
Andrew Sterman Flute, Piccolo
Ted Baker Keyboards
Eleftheria Arvanitaki Vocals
Ashley MacIsaac Violin
Mark Atkins Didjeridu
Gaurav Mazumdar Sitar
Lisa Bielawa Vocals
Philip Glass Ensemble Ensemble
Frank Cassara Percussion
Technical Credits
Philip Glass Composer, Liner Notes
Ravi Shankar Composer
Don Christensen Producer, Executive Producer
Dan Dryden Engineer
Kurt Munkasci Producer, Executive Producer
Michael Riesman Director, Music Direction
Philip Glass Ensemble Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Sam Crawford Intern
Dan Bora Engineer
Jared Sochinsky Intern
Cat Celebrezze Publishing Coordinator
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Give it a listen

    The music of Philip Glass usually polarizes listeners -- you either love it or hate it. I am firmly in the "love it" class, and I'd like to reach out to the other side and ask you to give Glass another chance.
    "Orion" is perhaps the most accessible of Glass's works. There's more melody here than in most of his previous music, and the addition of the different world instruments gives the piece more tonal color than Glass usually uses. It's amazing how well Glass's electronics mix with sitar and the handmade instruments of Brazil's Ukati. And when everything comes together for the finale, "Greece," the music soars.
    "Orion" is a magnificent musical experience, and you owe it to yourself to give it a listen. Even if you're not a Glass fan, you should be able to enjoy "Orion."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews