July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Everything about Leonard's 2006 book of poetry and Anjani's album
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tomsakic
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July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:20 pm

Although everybody are taken by Leonard's tour, Glass is now touring Europe with Book of Longing and it's worth repeating these dates... It's next week!

Don't miss the performance if it's in your town! I think that these places are not seeing LC's tour, and also, beside HIS VOICE (recitating) and of course, one and only, the legendary Philip Glass on keyboards, you'll see the screenings of most of Leonard's recent artwork exhibition (still unseen in continental Europe...)


JUNE 30, MONDAY, 2008 9:00PM
Book of Longing
Presented by: International Music SRL
Venue: Villa Adriana
TIVOLI, ITALY
http://www.auditorium.com

JULY 3-4, THURS-FRIDAY, 2008 7:30PM
Book of Longing
Presented by: Concert & Media Ltd
Venue: Palace of Fine Arts
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
http://www.mupa.hu/multimedia_reszletes ... gramok.jsp?

JULY 8-12, TUESDAY-SATURDAY, 2008 8:00PM
Book of Longing
Presented by: Adam Productions
Venue: Badminton Theater
ATHENS, GREECE
http://www.ticketnet.gr/parastaseisENG.html


(Later: September 18 - Torino, and Sept. 20 - Milano, Italy)

http://pomegranatearts.com/project-phil ... /tour.html
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Sophia
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Re: July 2008 performances of Book of Longing in Europe

Postby Sophia » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:20 pm

Needless to say that Glass' BOL posters are everywhere here in Athens for his five(!) performances at Badminton Theater(July 8-12), including Leonard's artwork and, as I was informed, Greek supertitles, based on the recent Greek edition of Book of Longing by Ianos.

And, of course, we are lucky enough to have Leonard here on July 30:-)
A hot July for Athens in every way:-)

Sophia
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Re: July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:28 pm

Was ANYBODY on any of the shows? :)

Unfortunately I didn't travel to Budapest, it was last moment decision.

Tom
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Re: July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Postby Lostlyric » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:51 am

Philip Glass's "Book of Longing" CD is now available in stores. However, I am *extremely* disappointed that other than a couple of tracks and some fragments by Leonard, about 90% of Leonard's poetry tracks are sung by others. And I am sure the "others" are great artistes in their own right. But as far as I am concerned Leonard's work cannot be interpreted meaningfully simply by a fine voice emanating through a gifted throat. It needs to come from a deeper place, the heart, the gut or below, or to put it more simply it needs to come from whichever place in the psyche it was written from. In my opinion given the state of the vocals the album sounds like putting out Mr. Cohen's work on Broadway (not that there is anything wrong with Broadway).

Please don't get me wrong, because I am a great admirer of Mr. Glass's work, as far as his *music* is concerned (and I am more than familiar with his entire catalog of published work), and have been for more than a couple of decades. However, Mr. Glass's interpretation of Leonard's work sounds meaningless to me wherever it is sung/recited/spoken by others.

Quite frankly I felt the same way about Mr. Glass's 1986 (?) album titled "Songs From Liquid Days". This album has artistes like Laurie Anderson, Suzanne Vega, Linda Ronstadt, David Byrne, Paul Simon etc. doing vocals. Perhaps "Liquid Days" is beyond my comprehension and I don't get it, just like I don't get the avant garde *musician* John Cage. But I don't get Mr. Cage AT ALL!! But I do *get* Mr. Glass generally and think he is indeed a great musician.

Aside from "Book of Longing" I feel a sense of loss in the absence of Leonard publishing his poetry in his *OWN* voice. I wrote to him, earlier this year, about publishing his poetry in his own voice, or if he likes even the phone book would suffice. I know I sound desperate, but if you have heard "Democracy" on the spoken word collection album titled "United States of Poetry", with the understated but hungering, ready to burst music (which never bursts forth) in the background - you will know exactly what I mean. Leonard's voice has so much intensity, depth and character, but for me sadly, Mr. Glass's production of "Book of Longing" is heartbreakingly disappointing (except for whenever LC's voice is heard). I wish Leonard would do something about it. Even if he does it for the same reason he is doing his current tour. By the way I attended his performance on June 8th here in Toronto. His voice had more *power* that night than I have heard EVER BEFORE. I couldn't quite figure out what had happened that he was in such powerful and fine voice, but I was truly dazzled!!!

Can't we get a petition going urging Leonard to publish his poetry as spoken word, in his own voice. I think it would be important for posterity too!!! I shall stop here, in the hope I have made my point.

Best,

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love
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Re: July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Postby margaret » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:23 pm

We know that Leonard recorded his Book of Longing on 4 cd's and gave them to Philip Glass to enable him to then produce his own version which has been performed in several places.

There has been discussion here and requests that those cd's with Leonard's own voice be released for us to buy at some point. We live in hope!

Margaret
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Re: July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Postby richardrj » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:31 pm

Lostlyric wrote:But as far as I am concerned Leonard's work cannot be interpreted meaningfully simply by a fine voice emanating through a gifted throat. It needs to come from a deeper place, the heart, the gut or below, or to put it more simply it needs to come from whichever place in the psyche it was written from.
By that argument no-one would ever do a cover version of one of Cohen's songs. As we know, however, he is one of the most covered artists in all of popular music, with countless interpretations ranging from the inspired (Jennifer Warnes, John Cale) to the appalling (U2, Jeff Buckley).

In this case I do agree with you that the Book of Longing singers are not the best interpreters of the texts. But remember they were originally written as poems, not as songs. And IMHO these poems are for the most part bitty and insubstantial. Glass and the singers did the best they could with some frankly substandard source material.
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Re: July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Postby Lostlyric » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:37 am

Richard:
Thank you for pointing out the difficulty with my observation about Leonard's work being interpreted by others. You are right, I guess I oversimplified what I wanted to say when I wrote, "...or to put it more simply it needs to come from whichever place in the psyche it was written from". You named, "Jennifer Warnes, John Cale) to the appalling (U2, Jeff Buckley)". I have deeply enjoyed most of these artistes interpretations of Leonard's work. In fact to be honest, I initially did not grasp Leonard's version of "Hallelujah" (I know, I know). In fact it was John Cale's version (the piano version, not the horns version) of the song that I found absolutely beautiful. It was only after many listens of Cale's version that I was able to fully appreciate Leonard's version. But I still think that Cale's version is the best one out there (after Leonard's of course). U2 or rather Bono murdered the song. I guess that is what Bono might have referred to at Leonard's R&R Hall of Fame induction when he said that he had been "humiliated" by Leonard's work, or words to that effect. Forgive this long digression. What I meant was that unless the artiste is engaged by Leonard's work, or to put it differently, if the artiste has a genuine appreciation of Leonard's work, I am fine with it. For example if you have heard Arno Höddinghaus's & Heike Düppe's version of Famous Blue Raincoat (check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmIqulbRVBI), I find it *incredible*. To some ears it might sound stark, but I find it a deeply beautiful interpretation. Incidentally, it's video is of stills which I think work exceedingly well with the song. Rufus Wainright's interpretations have generally sounded okay to me, but sounded pretty bad at Leonard's induction into the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame. On the same occasion I thought kd lang did a great job. To go back to Leonard's voice, have you seen the DVD with Leonard's narration of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", the DVD's description is at:
http://www.amazon.com/Tibetan-Book-Dead ... 246&sr=1-1
If you hear it (I mean see it :-) you will know the reason for my hunger of Leonard's work in his own voice. In Glass's interpretation of "The Book of Longing" the artistes, in my opinion, are unable to engage with Leonard's work. You may have a point about the source material, but I don't think I would apply it to every track on the album. But as far as I am concerned, had the same source material been spoken or recited by Leonard.....it would give meaning to *every* fragment, in my opinion anyway. Because Leonard's voice expresses the meaning of his work, and does not simply put voice to work. Maybe I am biased, but I don't think so. The one reason that Leonard's voice is not appreciated by most people (other than those who admire his work) is that he does not have a singing voice *technically*. But as far as I am concerned, his voice not only sings, it dances, sways, melts, flows and plays the strings of our heart, feats which no mere singing voice can accomplish :-) . Leonard's voice has been characterized in different ways, someone described Leonard's voice as "smoke-scarred", another writer described his voice as "whisky soaked"....and I describe it as the "just-woken-up-morning-voice"....okay I am just playing the fool with that last description.

Best,

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love
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Re: July 2008 performances of Glass' Book of Longing in Europe

Postby howthelightgetsin » Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:27 pm

I couldn't have said all of this better lost lyric - I will sign that petition for Leonard to record his poetry as spoken word for sure.

I'm like you I don't think you can beat hearing the person who wrote the words reciting/singing them. Even if it is a 'beautiful voice' another person never seems to have the same emotion as the person who wrote them - because quite simply its their emotions. Saying that alot of Motown and Soul singers did well making it sound like they'd been through what they were singing about when written by someone else.
Lostlyric wrote:Philip Glass's "Book of Longing" CD is now available in stores. However, I am *extremely* disappointed that other than a couple of tracks and some fragments by Leonard, about 90% of Leonard's poetry tracks are sung by others. And I am sure the "others" are great artistes in their own right. But as far as I am concerned Leonard's work cannot be interpreted meaningfully simply by a fine voice emanating through a gifted throat. It needs to come from a deeper place, the heart, the gut or below, or to put it more simply it needs to come from whichever place in the psyche it was written from. In my opinion given the state of the vocals the album sounds like putting out Mr. Cohen's work on Broadway (not that there is anything wrong with Broadway).

Please don't get me wrong, because I am a great admirer of Mr. Glass's work, as far as his *music* is concerned (and I am more than familiar with his entire catalog of published work), and have been for more than a couple of decades. However, Mr. Glass's interpretation of Leonard's work sounds meaningless to me wherever it is sung/recited/spoken by others.

Quite frankly I felt the same way about Mr. Glass's 1986 (?) album titled "Songs From Liquid Days". This album has artistes like Laurie Anderson, Suzanne Vega, Linda Ronstadt, David Byrne, Paul Simon etc. doing vocals. Perhaps "Liquid Days" is beyond my comprehension and I don't get it, just like I don't get the avant garde *musician* John Cage. But I don't get Mr. Cage AT ALL!! But I do *get* Mr. Glass generally and think he is indeed a great musician.

Aside from "Book of Longing" I feel a sense of loss in the absence of Leonard publishing his poetry in his *OWN* voice. I wrote to him, earlier this year, about publishing his poetry in his own voice, or if he likes even the phone book would suffice. I know I sound desperate, but if you have heard "Democracy" on the spoken word collection album titled "United States of Poetry", with the understated but hungering, ready to burst music (which never bursts forth) in the background - you will know exactly what I mean. Leonard's voice has so much intensity, depth and character, but for me sadly, Mr. Glass's production of "Book of Longing" is heartbreakingly disappointing (except for whenever LC's voice is heard). I wish Leonard would do something about it. Even if he does it for the same reason he is doing his current tour. By the way I attended his performance on June 8th here in Toronto. His voice had more *power* that night than I have heard EVER BEFORE. I couldn't quite figure out what had happened that he was in such powerful and fine voice, but I was truly dazzled!!!

Can't we get a petition going urging Leonard to publish his poetry as spoken word, in his own voice. I think it would be important for posterity too!!! I shall stop here, in the hope I have made my point.

Best,

Biraj
Aymi Derham photography - http://www.flickr.com/takenby1

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