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.
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.


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.