1986 project by American minimalist
composer Philip Glass
featuring lyrics and solo performances by more mainstream
musicians and performers: Paul Simon
, Suzanne Vega
, David Byrne
, Laurie Anderson
, Linda Ronstadt
, Bernard Fowler
, the Roches
and the Kronos Quartet (accompanying the Philip Glass Ensemble).
If that's not enough, the album also boasts a neat cover photograph of Glass by Robert Mapplethorpe
Musically the album is nothing special - even a bit on the pedestrian side given the varied and experimental temperments of the collaborators. Horns, strings, electronic keys and a choir cycle through every song back and forth endlessly in classic Glass subtlety (that is, to say, that is, to say, that is, to say, that is, to say, that is, to say, very little; very little; very little; very little; very little; very little) but the melodies - if unconvenional by pop standards - move along at a relatively brisk clip, the vocal solos carrying the listener along without the demands of patience the glacial background loops always require. As such, if deprived of the possibility of Koyaanisqatsi's accompanying visuals, it could well be the best introduction to Glass' work for listeners not quite yet ready to jump into the, uh, river of 20th-century avant-garde music feet-first.
Total playing time 39:52.