PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Concert of the Sixth Sun: Deer Flowers, Wise Man, Hikuri, Falling Rocks.
Catalogue Number: 11P073
Label: Orange Mountain Music
Description: This collaboration between Glass and two musicians of the Mexican Wixarika people came about as a result of the composer's travels and research in remote Mexico to experience the spirituality and indigenous folk music of the region, which also gave rise to the Toltec symphony. Frustratingly, the booklet notes give no clue as to the degree to which the Wixarika musicians adapted their music for this fusion exercise; what they play consists of small syncopated repeating phrases which might be the traditional accompaniment to the vocal part present in parts of some of the pieces, but which also sound like old-school minimalist gestures. Harmonic progression is provided solely by Glass on piano, playing arpeggiated figures, chords and bass lines that sometimes sound like keyboard parts from 1980s Philip Glass Ensemble pieces, and sometimes like an improvised continuo underpinning the instrumental and vocal parts. The combination of folk violin, piano, sometimes voice, and what is described as a guitar but looks and sounds more like a species of mandolin or banjo is a pleasingly euphonious one, and the music is unassumingly catchy and more delicate, less driven and aggressively motoric than Glass's usual style. Daniel Medina de la Rosa (violin), Robert Carillo Cocío (guitar), Philip Glass (piano).