In a packed Melkweg space last Friday night the master of minimal music dazzled and mesmerized a conspicuously young audience with pieces from all stages of his illustrious career. Most of his listeners must have been born decades after Einstein on the Beach premiered in 1976. I perceived some chuckled reactions to the relentless repetitions of the Spaceship-section of that opera, written by Glass and directed by Robert Wilson. The performing arts have not been the same since. The chuckles went mute when Tim Fain performed a dazzling Kneeplay from same opera.
But the highlight for me was to hear Allen Ginsberg’s recorded voice in Wichita Vortex Sutra. Hearing Allen Ginsberg’s voice swept up to emotional heights, accompanied and balanced by Glass’s meditative live piano performance was a religious experience.
Producer Rob Malasch, a longtime friend and producer of Glass’s work in The Netherlands, threw the party of the season afterwards in his gallery Serieuze Zaken Studioos on the Lauriergracht amidst the starkly evocative photographs of Max Snow, whose exhibition opened with much fanfare that afternoon.
Video giants Jack Moore (Videoheads) and Raul Marroquin were there to enliven the scene, besides everyone who is somebody in the Amsterdam cultural scene, to pay homage to “Phil.” Two lusciously bearded bakers of Bakker Baard provided on-site-a-la-minute miniature apple/cherry delicacies and plates with Chef Thor’s – small bites, big flavors – orgasmic vegetarian “bitterballen” kept everyone going until the wee hours.
You should have been there.