Glassworks by Philip Glass is flavored with Bach and Bowie

Philip Glass
Philip Glass

Philip Glass is an American composer, widely considered to be one of the most influential musicians of the late 20th century. It is hard to find a genre in which he hadn't dabbed in, or an artist who hadn't been directly influenced by his work. 

Even with his extensive resume that includes film and TV scores, Glass describes himself as a "classicist," pointing out he has been trained in harmony and counterpoint and studied such composers as Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

He has collaborated with a great number of artists, from popular to folk, most notably Brian Eno, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, Mick Jagger, Leonard Cohen, and even the sitar guru Ravi Shankar. Beyond direct collaboration, Glass has extended his compositional influence to musicians and bands such as Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream and Talking Heads.

The track Facades was released on the 1982 album Glassworks which, in its essence, is a chamber work written in six movements. Following his large-scale projects, Glassworks was his successful attempt to create a more accessible classical work for the mainstream audience.

In Glass's own words:

"Glassworks was intended to introduce my music to a more general audience than had been familiar with it up to then."

Share this story
  • The History of Popular Music

    Discover stories from each decade. Listen to gems from the 1960s, 1970s, and more.
  • Early Music

    Read all about the formative music of the past centuries. Enjoy the regal yet easy sounds of the Baroque and Renaissance.
  • Indian Classical Music

    Dive into the South Asian philosophy through Indian classical music. Learn about musical traditions of the Hindustani and Carnatic culture.
  • The Epoch of Romanticism

    Get a taste of the most beloved and fruitful music period. See the personalities behind the major shift of the eras — from Classical to Romantic.