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Words Without Music: A Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 6, 2015
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“Warm, low-key and often delightful…. A portrait of a composer who rose to prominence almost entirely outside of the usual institutions…. Words Without Music reads the way Mr. Glass’s compositions sound at their best: propulsive, with a surreptitious emotional undertow.”
- Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times
“Lively and colorful…. Glass is one of the most articulate composers around. Insight and practical common sense pervade his new book…. With a composer’s sense of form, Glass returns, in the final pages, to his youth, the subject that elicits his most evocative writing.”
- Kyle Gann, New York Times Book Review
“Glass, a key figure of musical minimalism, was one of the first composers to reject a distinction between “ethnic” music and Western classical music, and in this memoir he explains how he came to view a composition not as a linear narrative but as progressive rhythmic sequences.”
- The New Yorker
“Philip Glass's place in musical history is secure.”
- The New Yorker
“America's most significant symphonist.”
- Los Angeles Times
“An icon of the avant-garde.”
“The most prolific and popular of all contemporary composers.”
- New York Times
“An engaging memoir of an adventuresome, iconoclastic career…Writing with warmth and candor, Glass portrays himself as driven, self-confident and tenaciously determined to invent his own, radically new musical language.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“No matter your opinion of Glass’ music, you will like Glass the man….Aspiring musicians and artists will learn much from Glass, as will general readers, musical or not, who will discover an artistic life exceptionally well lived.”
- Booklist, Starred Review
“Philip Glass has written a fascinating account of his life with recollections of family, teachers, and friends. From his childhood in Baltimore to his studies with Ravi Shankar and Nadia Boulanger and the collaborations with Robert Wilson, Allen Ginsburg, Godfrey Reggio, and Martin Scorsese, among others, Glass offers insights to his music and personal life. Words Without Music will be a pleasure to read, not only for musicians (although they will particularly enjoy it) but for anyone interested in the world of art.”
- Paul Simon
About the Author
Born in Baltimore in 1937, Philip Glass studied at the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. The composer of operas, film scores, and symphonies, he performs regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble and lives in New York.
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I leave a fifth star unawarded as a tribute for all we have yet to receive from Philip Glass in the years to come.
As I read the first few pages I felt very comfortable with his writing style and his lyrical style. I just kept reading until I finished it because I knew I was going to learn something enjoyable about the time that he lived and the places he visited in that time. To me it was almost more of a history lesson from a personal level.
Read the first chapter. If you aren't interested by then you probably won't be in the rest of the book. For me, I just kept reading.