Remixing Philip Glass
What do you think pop music has gotten from Glass?
BECK: So much. Especially when I was working on my own remix for this. Hearing little bits of bands of the past 40 years. I think there are these patterns in the music, and I think that that really has become part of the consciousness of different musicians, whether they’re aware of it or not.
GLASS: I felt completely comfortable working with people in pop music. I didn’t think of it as a higher or lower art form. Young groups like Eighth Blackbird now, they can take art music and turn it into colloquial music and go back and forth between the two. We fought to break down those barriers, and those barriers are gone, there’s no battle. When I hear young composers, it’s not even clear to me whether they were conservatory-trained or they were trained in bars or restaurants or pop-music venues of the big cities. It’s irrelevant.
What do you both think about timelessness and your work, and how things in your work feel dated or not dated?
GLASS: It all sounds dated. Because I can’t write that music again. I can’t write “Einstein on the Beach” again. I played from it in a concert the other day, and it’s like I never wrote it. My brain’s been rewired. I don’t think I’ve ever said this publicly, but I think that the music we write, it accurately reflects the way our brains work, and our brains are constantly evolving. Our brains are very plastic; they continue to grow.
How do you see the work that you did versus the work that you do?
GLASS: I don’t mean to give you a Zen koan, but the work I did is the work I know, and the work I do is the work I don’t know. That’s why I can’t tell you, I don’t know what I’m doing. And it’s the not knowing that makes it interesting.