Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass ...

Funny, the unexpected things you find when you do random searches in U-tube.

Shankar's collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin (East Meets West), which I discovered some time in my teens, was a kind of breakthrough moment for me, musically, having studied typical "Western" classics through my piano studies. It opened my mind up to an entirely new set of musical ideas and concepts and sounds. It was quite amazing. I then became an avid listener to WNYC's "New Sounds" program and learned about Stephen Reich, and many other "alternatives" in the "classical" milieu.

I know Shankar has collaborated with many artists over the years, yet I was unaware of this 1990 album with Glass (although I should not have been surprised by it). These are very nice collaborations between Shankar and Glass, but I think the Shankar/Menuhin work far exceeds them in terms of a "collaboration between equals." No offense to Philip Glass. I've been listening to more of his work lately and think I need to spend more time with more time with it in order to be fair in my (personal) assessment. I know he's some kind of "God" to many. I personally haven't seen that yet.

Switching gears: I was intending to write, briefly, today about something someone told me recently, about how some relationships are like glass, once they are broken, it's not worth bloodying one's hands trying to put them back together again. Rather, it's better to sweep up the shards and throw them away and be done with it. (Forrest Gump allusion entirely unintentional, believe me ... please.)

So, by finding this on U-tube (and, hence, my "random" search term having been revealed), my thoughts went into a different direction: to the things I love and continue to explore and learn about and that give me intellectual food and relief from my anxiety. Probably best for me. Probably best for you, dear reader, as well.

Although, one day, while in a more morbid mood, I'll probably get back to the broken glass issue. Sorry.


  1. I wasn't (and am not) a musician, but I owned the East Meets West record also and it affected me significantly during my teen years. (I thought Menhuin looked great on the cover, by the way.) Later, after coming to NY in the mid-1970s following college, I was lucky enough to be exposed to Steve Reich's music, both on record and in concert, and have always preferred my Steve Reich memories to my Philip Glass ones (although some people I used to work with also worked with him and have told me charming stories about Glass the man.) I should know more. As far as relationships and glass (intact and in shards) go, this is interesting and you should pursue it. I had several relationships that I thought were so solid I never really considered what was going on shatter over the past decade. It was depressing and eye-opening. Efforts I made to reassemble each of them were either unsuccessful or unsatisfying. A shrink once gave me some advice on the subject and simplistic answers about what it all meant. Frankly, after all my pondering, I can't do any better than she did and her advice was practical and good. Curtis

  2. Curtis, I've been lucky enough to have some very good shrinks in my lifetime. I'd not be exaggerating to say that one or two in particular saved my life. Although, there comes a time, when you're done with therapy. It can only take you so far. At least that's how I feel now. Trying to stand on my own two feet.

  3. to the things I love and continue to explore and learn about and that give me intellectual food and relief from my anxiety. Probably best for me.

    Existence is hell by default, but the above is the stuff that makes it worthwhile. The skeleton key is the make sure we spend more time with that stuff than we do. Otherwise, we start ruminating on Important Things, and frankly, who wants to do *that*?

  4. In my experience broken relationships can sometimes be patched up into friendships but only if you haven't slashed each other with the shards.