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Long-lost Philip Glass composition ‘Music in Eight Parts’ finally gets released

Normally, artists write a piece of music and then release it. That is not really the case with Philip Glass’ Music in Eight Parts.

Originally written in 1970, Glass’ manuscript had originally been thought lost. This was until it appeared suddenly in 2017 at a Christie’s auction.

Originally thought lost for nearly 50 years, Philip Glass’ Music in Eight Parts is now finally available to listen in its majestic entirety.

The manuscript, unsurprisingly, sold for an astonishing amount. $43,750USD, in fact. The piece of music has now finally been recorded after all this time by the Philip Glass Ensemble.

One of the Ensembles vocalists, Lisa Bielawa, described the piece of music by saying, “If you’re a Picasso fan and you walk into a room full of early Cubism, and there’s a painting there that you’ve never seen before, it’s like that. It’s right at the centre of the authentic early period, right in the middle of it.”

The piece itself is 20 minutes in length and features rhythmic growth and shifts throughout. Alex Gray, who has been piecing the work together over the last year and half explained, “Everything he’s writing up to this point is about additive rhythm. This is the first time he tried to take what’s typically horizontal and apply it vertically. You see it a little bit in ‘Music in Similar Motion’ — adding a new voice and adding a new voice, every couple of minutes. In this one, you literally see it expanding note by note.”

Check out the full piece below.

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May 25, 2020