Songs from Liquid Days

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Songs from Liquid Days
Studio album by Philip Glass
Released 1986
Recorded The Living Room, New York; The Complex, Los Angeles
Genre Minimal music
Length 39:49
Label CBS Records
Producer Kurt Munkacsi
Philip Glass chronology
Satyagraha
(1985)
Songs from Liquid Days
(1986)
Dancepieces
(1987)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link

Songs from Liquid Days is a collection of songs composed by composer Philip Glass with lyrics by Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, David Byrne and Laurie Anderson. Glass began the project scoring lyrics by Byrne and then thought to collaborate with additional songwriters.

On the project, Glass said:

"The words come first. From these I fashioned a set of six songs which, together, form a cycle of themes ranging from reflections on nature to classic romantic settings. After the music was written, I — along with producer Kurt Munkacsi and conductor Michael Riesman— began the long and difficult process of 'casting' singers for the individual songs. We felt that the interpretation a singer brings to a song is an immense contribution to its character — contributing their own personality to the work perhaps more than any other performer."

The recording features performances by Bernard Fowler, Kronos Quartet, Janice Pendarvis, Douglas Perry, The Roches, Linda Ronstadt, and the Philip Glass Ensemble, directed by Michael Riesman. The recording was released in 1986 by CBS Records. The song "Lightning" was performed by the Philip Glass Ensemble on Saturday Night Live, March 22, 1986.

Reception[edit]

Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote in 1986,

"The album's six songs are short, oracular reflections on time and love, with imagery that explicitly evokes mystical connections between people and objects ...
The cycle begins with Paul Simon's Changing Opinion, a mock-solemn meditation on the possible sources of an electrical hum in a room ...
Mr. Byrne's Open the Kingdom resolves the distance between the commonplace and the mystical in a Zen-like lyric whose abbreviated phrases imagine death as a rush into eternity in which sounds become words - a distant roar, turning to speak, turning to hear."

Holden concludes, "But with all its charms, Songs From Liquid Days is still minor Glass." [1]

Allmusic wrote that "Songs From Liquid Days became Philip Glass' most popular and successful recording," and concluded that "Songs From Liquid Days may be their single greatest achievement." [2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Changing Opinion" (Glass/Simon; Bernard Fowler, vocals) – 9:57
  2. "Lightning" (Glass/Vega; Janice Pendarvis, vocals) – 6:42
  3. "Freezing" (Glass/Vega; The Kronos Quartet; Linda Ronstadt, vocals) – 3:16
  4. "Liquid Days" (Glass/Byrne; The Roches, vocals) – 4:45
  5. "Open the Kingdom (Liquid Days, Part Two)" (Glass/Byrne; Douglas Perry, vocals) – 6:59
  6. "Forgetting" (Glass/Anderson; The Kronos Quartet; Linda Ronstadt, vocals; The Roches, backing vocals) – 8:10

All songs feature the Philip Glass Ensemble under direction of Michael Riesman.

Artwork[edit]

Cover photo of Philip Glass is by Robert Mapplethorpe.

References[edit]

  1. ^ PHILIP GLASS TURNS TO THE SONG, New York Times, Published: April 20, 1986. Accessed 01/0120/14
  2. ^ Review at Allmusic

External links[edit]