Crafting the Perfect Ten


Only ten days left. Sounds pretty good, right?!

And speaking of good. (No, let me rephrase. We’re talking way better than good here.)

For our salute to “10,” let’s talk about an American-born composer named Philip Glass.  (If you haven’t heard of P. Glass the man, I’ll bet dollars to donuts that you’ve heard his music.)

The art of crafting music without words is certainly difficult enough, but Glass pretty much turned it into his
personal play thing.

From film soundtracks like The Thin Blue Line to Hamburger Hill to The Truman Shaw and masterpieces like the Concert Overture, Symphony #10 and his Einstein on the Beach (perhaps his most famous work), Philip Glass is as household a name as there is in modern day classical music.

A champion of minimalism and recognized as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century, the story of Glass’ journey along the way is potentially more interesting than his eventual success.

Now that he’s just about six weeks short of his 84th birthday, the Baltimore, Maryland-born maestro, took on a series of odd jobs back in the day. Working as a plumber, furniture mover, and taxi driver, like many musicians of his era, Glass understood what it would take to be among the elite.  And it seemed that he didn’t care too much about what other people thought.

In fact, there’s a story that while working as a plumber, Glass was sent to the home of a famous New York art critic to – of all things – fix the dishwasher.

The art critic recognized Glass immediately and asked what the already-well-known composer was doing there. “You’re Philp Glass,” the man insisted. “Did you forget who you are?”

Glass replied simply, “Well, today, I’m your plumber, and I’m here to fix your dishwasher. So, can you please let me get back to it now?”

You know you’re dealing with a perfect “10” when that person can mix that sort of genius with such humility, don’t you think?

Several years later, Glass wrote an opera called The Perfect American. 

Pretty cool when art imitates life, no?

See you tomorrow for single digits, gang.



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