Britten Sinfonia/Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi
28 November 2012

Britten Sinfonia Philip Glass Ensemble Jeremy Birchall bass, Trinity Laban Chamber Choir, Stephen Jackson choir director, Michael Reisman conductor
I was delighted to participate at an extraordinary event that took place at the Barbican Centre , London on December 14 2012. It was a live screening of Koyaanisqatsi the unforgettable 1982 film set to a new arrangement of Glass’ film score for his ensemble and orchestra.

Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 time-lapse cinematic vision of American cities and landscapes Koyaanisqatsi has been described as a ‘visual tone poem.’ In this wordless vision of nature and civilization is Reggio’s view of an ‘unbalanced world’, the collision of man with technology and the inadequate, humiliated state of language.

As iconic as Reggio’s film is Glass’s score – momentous in its gradations of tempi, its seismically shifting harmonies and its seminal pitting of synthesized sounds against the weight of the orchestra.

The Britten Sinfonia and the Philip Glass ensemble gave a memorable performance of the composer’s revised orchestration as a live accompaniment to the film.
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