Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Curiously Strong Phillip Glass

I often write about how I think it is silly to complain that musicians are selling out when they allow their music to be used in a commercial. According to this interview, Phillip Glass agrees with me:

When I asked Philip Glass — composer of operas, symphonies and string quartets — why he wrote music for a pair of Altoids commercials this year, he was incredulous. "I did it for the money!" he answered. "Whaddaya mean, 'Why'd you do it?' You got rocks in your head?"

Here's a little more from the interview:

RS: I'm still wondering about the Altoids.

PG: The thing about television commercials is, they're very quick. They come and go in two or three days, and you make more money than you do for writing a symphony. I've worked in every form of collaborative theater, art, dance that you can imagine. So it wasn't hard for me to do.

One of the best things a composer can do is to make a living in the music world. A quick, easy way is to get a commercial. But it's a hard world to break into. There are professional jingle writers, and you're up against them. You need to know what you're doing. It doesn't come up very much for me.
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Part of Advancement is finding value in everything, so I find it interesting that Phillip Glass would find it difficult to compete with jingle writers.

2 comments:

Jim Donahue said...

I once found myself sitting next to Glass on the subway. I wanted to start humming circular, repeating patterns, but I just couldn't do it.

Jason Hartley said...

Phillip Glass's music is great to listen to if you have the flu. It makes you feel circular. Especially Powaquatsi.