Phillip Glass and Ravi Shankar – Passages

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This classical piece, as its name implies, leads the listener through a varied artistic route. The passage is distinguished by a fusion of the two composers' respective styles. While Ravi Shankar was a master of the sitar and a specialist in Hindustani classical music, Phillip Glass was a western composer who specialized in western minimalism.

The essay combines the two styles, with each author using the other as a complement to their own work. This piece of art is divided into multiple portions, each of which was created by a different composer. The first, offering, which was engineered by Shankar begins with a slow tempo of a saxophone that is later joined by others the tempo then picks up on a smooth transition to a faster tempo and later on returns to the rhythm and tempo at the start.

The second section also known as Sadhanipa encompasses an Indian themed rhythm despite being engineered by Glass; however, it still encompasses Glass's style of using the first four tones, Indian instruments dominate this section characterized by a rhythmic sitar and table. A heavy trumpet forms the basis of the intro and outro as it is heavily echoed by the Indian instrument blending in a perfect cohesion of sounds like one (Shankar and Glass).

Another section was the Ragas in Minor scale, and this section causes a buildup of both east and west styles based on a climax of rhythm and harmony and buildup of Indian instruments taking the beat to climax as they jam to the rhythm. The next section, Prashanti, causes a shift in the climax grasping the listener’s attention it begins with a slow but harmonic intro that transcends into an upbeat of chaos that brings about a mix of aggressive emotions ranging from hatred to violence. Then a peaceful yet harmonious voice cuts in an appropriate fashion, the voice is in Hindu vocals that translate to a meaning of pleading for peace and harmony from the previous emotions that depicted the world to be full of chaos (Shankar and Glass).

This work of mixed art addresses key concerns by providing a passage of emotions from the different experiences that exist in the world and through the blend of the different styles an outcome of harmony is bestowed upon the listener making it a spectacle work of art.

Charles Ives Symphony No. 4, BBC Symphony Orchestra/David Robertson, cond./Ralph Van Raat, piano

Charles Ives, a very talented composer, based on his unique techniques of complexities engineered a symphony to four movements. His complexity was based on the nature of his work to be multi-layered, such as to require two conductors. For this review, we will consider the fourth number as performed by David Robertson as the conductor and Raph van Raat as the pianist.

The fourth was a summary of all his days as a composer dating back to when he was a student at male this evidently proved to be a basis of the multi-layered nature of the composition. However, one could assume this complexity would cause a variation of colluding rhythms, yet based on this performance the changes of keys and tempo mashed up to form a harmonious and rhythmic sound. His work took years to be actuated by composers based on the mastering required on the multilayered manuscripts. Some of his work was even performed fifty years after being conceptualized.

This work begins with a slow tempo but structured flow of the rhythm as it progresses to the incorporation of the other instruments. The juggle of a different rhythm then catches to the subsequent rhythm causing an aggressive yet harmonious existence. The two rhythms flow in the shadow of each other followed by a shift in the midsection whereby one rhythm acts as the lead with a slow rhythmic tempo catching up to sweet melody of the violin, the other rhythm flows with a harmonious lag of trumpets seeming to answer all the questions of the violins blending into a harmonious flow of rhythms as they shift tempi from low to high with the assistance of the piano that plays a solo within the background of the two rhythms (Ives). For a multilayered composition of such work, this performance was engineered to the latter.


Passages. Perf. Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass. 1990.

Symphony No. 4. By Charles Ives. Perf. David Robertson and Ralph van Raat. BBC Symphony Orchestra. 1965.

April 13, 2023

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