Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

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Idysseus
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4 More Video Snippettes of Leonard Posted

Post by Idysseus » Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:04 pm

OK, I have gone ahead and posted the 4 other video snippettes I made with my small still camera. The video is low quality, and it's completely unedited. Still, it's Leonard (and Philip), and if you're a fan, you'll want to see them.

It's at http://enlightenmentdotcom.zaadz.com/bl ... ohens_talk

As for the show: I agree that I couldn't understand all the words of all the singers, and Leonard's voice was a bit muffled, and so on. Still, although it was indeed "Through a Glass Darkly," I thought the driving strings were perfect, and I was just so happy to be there experiencing an homage to Leonard...and the fact that he came out at the very end to take a bow made it really special.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:12 pm

Yes, I forgot to mention my difficulty in understanding the words and in his redoing of the melodies, even recognizing the songs, as well... in the songs. That was part of my "feel pretty much exactly as you" comment to Baldwyn.
I was just so happy to be there experiencing an homage to Leonard...and the fact that he came out at the very end to take a bow made it really special.
On the other hand, I agree with you 100% on this aspect, Idysseus. I was absolutely delighted to see Leonard walk out with Philip at the end :D ... and, again, being there and experiencing such a full-scale homage to Leonard had a historical element, and the production was one which proved beyond all shadow of a doubt that many styles and approaches are certain to follow through the years 8) . I also enjoyed listening to Philip Glass talk in the Conversation.

Another benefit of attending is that you are absolutely entitled to having your own opinion from a first-hand perspective. Another aspect was the opportunity of seeing other Cohen people; that's one that those seeing it in London will enjoy in spades 8) . Meeting Arlene Rasky, Harry Rasky's wife, as we all stood on the sidewalk waiting to get in, and again on Sunday at the Gallery, was a deep pleasure for me. Such a vivacious and incredibly open and loving woman.

I look forward to seeing your other snippets when I get to a computer where I can do that. Thank you so much, again, for getting them :D .


~ Lizzy
Last edited by lizzytysh on Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
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lizzytysh
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:59 pm

CURRENTS: ARCHITECTURE; Staid Old Toronto Museum Will Put on a Crystalline Jacket
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Del.icio.usDiggFacebookNewsvinePermalinkBy JULIE LASKY
Published: March 14, 2002

Daniel Libeskind, at right, had minerology on his mind when he designed an extension for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. His proposal, selected last month from 12 entries, is for a 40,000-square-foot glass addition that looks like an immense heap of quartz. (One Toronto journalist compared it to a collision with an iceberg.) ''I think it was Palladio who said that all architecture aspires to be as beautiful as a crystal,'' said the architect, who was born in Poland, is a United States citizen and bases his practice in Berlin. Glass also dominated the designs of the other two finalists, Andrea Bruno of Turin, Italy, and Bing Thom of Vancouver.

The museum is devoted to natural history and human culture. Among its five million artifacts are dinosaur bones, decorative arts and a vast mineral collection. ''The wow of the building had to match the wow of the collections,'' said Mr. Libeskind, who is best known for putting windows like whiplashes in the Jewish Museum he designed in Berlin, for proposing an exploded spiral extension for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and for designing a fractured granite and titanium addition for the Denver Art Museum. The new wing on the Royal Ontario -- with galleries, laboratories, offices, restaurants and theaters -- is expected to cost $120 million and to be completed by 2006.
In the Conversation, Leonard likened the Glass performance to this addition to the old museum at the end of the street, which he analogized as an iceberg having collided with the museum. [I'm sure I'm not remembering this wrong... that this was Leonard's analogy... it seems like he said something like, "It's not altogether different than... "] ~ the idea seemed to be the disparate nature of his and Glass's style[s] and approach[es]. Of course, ironically, the massive amounts of glass at the Museum are... [G]lass, the new, the cutting-edge contemporary. Leonard's work, of course, having the flavour and substance that some associate with the olde world that for many of us he represents... in his absolute solidness... and his, somehow, European flavour. I happened to like the Museum 'collision' [but some find it atrocious]. I feel it remains a good analogy... with my considerations of it being the frigid and rigid characteristics of an iceberg, when what I was longing for was heartwarming flourish.

Still, if another Conversation were to be included and I could afford it, I would attend it all, again... for that alone. And, perhaps, a second viewing would bring more appreciable positives to the fore for me.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Baldwyn
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by Baldwyn » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:58 pm

Leonard mentioned, by the way, that he had written music for "I Can't Make the Hills" before Philip Glass set the poem to music, at our conversation. He now prefers Philip's version over his. I have to say, that was the finest piece, outside of the string solos. Of course, a lot of that had to do with it being read by Leonard :)
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lizzytysh
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:04 am

Hi Baldwyn ~

I wish I could remember how that one sounded. I just can't. Leonard may prefer Philip's; yet, I'm certain I would prefer Leonard's. The unfortunate thing was that the superific little booklet and theatre flashlight that were free to audience members weren't made available until we were all leaving. [I just happened to spot a box of them on a landing midway through the performance, but still didn't utilize them for the rest of it.] It would have helped to be able to quickly review the words of the next song prior to its being sung, as the singers were moving out of and into position. Then, the words would have been much easier to understand. I didn't realize that it was a 'libretto' when I picked some up, though... so figured I'd just look at it later. It would have been very useful. I would also have used it to jot something as to which ones struck me and in what way. At this point, it's all quite a blur. As it was, I used one for taking notes at the Conversation. You'll laugh when I finally figure out how to post the photo taken from where I was seated. If ceilings could only sing ;-) .

One thing I can say absolutely is that the presentation in the Book of Longing production was elegant. The singers and musicians handled themselves with a beauty of style and grace, as they stood tall to present Leonard's and Philip's work with care. The way it all felt to me, however, was that the soul and humanity of Leonard were missing. I tried to like it, I really did. Even so, I think of Thelonious Monk and how highly renowned, admired, respected, revered, he is in the jazz world... his music far beyond the times when he was performing it. People walked out and he didn't care. It seems that [perhaps] Philip Glass is to the composing world as Thelonious is to jazz. Time will probably continue to bear this out. I've no doubt that his constructions in the genre of music he's writing and producing are probably technically flawless [maybe it's similar to the cd/analog dichotomy]; yet, I want the warmth of Leonard's flawless constructions in his own genre... cd or analog.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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lizzytysh
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:02 am

The first, third, and seventh still shots are awesome! Look at his smile... look at his seriousness of purpose in listening. Wonderful photos.

Now to watch and listen!

Thank you, again, Jordan. I've just listened and these are so great... no matter where the tape stops or begins, midstream either way, it's just frustrating. I want to hear what they're leading into, or what they're just finishing up or laughing at. I hope the entire Conversation will show up somewhere on the Internet/here/YouTube/whatever. I saw what appeared to be high regard when Philip started talking about his father and Leonard leaned in with interest, given the way Philip was speaking of his own father.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Idysseus
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by Idysseus » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:21 am

I thought I heard or saw somewhere that the Aurora forum was going to post the whole thing at some point. So, you might want to go to some of the Standford University pages and look around. For me, just seeing Leonard Cohen smiling and laughing makes it all worthwhile.

"And even though it all went wrong; I'll stand before the Lord of song; with nothing on my tongue but...Hallelujah
kokenpere
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by kokenpere » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:29 am

Hi Idysseus -

The snippets are priceless. Thank you very much.

kokenpere
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lizzytysh
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:57 pm

For me, just seeing Leonard Cohen smiling and laughing makes it all worthwhile.

"And even though it all went wrong; I'll stand before the Lord of song; with nothing on my tongue but...Hallelujah"
Great quote for what I wholeheartedly agree with, Idysseus 8) . Wish I had thought to use it :) . It's perfect... except it didn't all go wrong for me. I enjoyed Leonard's art and writing... and even when muffled his voice always came as a relief and a welcome, soothing sound.


Thanks :D .


~ Lizzy

I've just read the other two reviews. I ought to have focused more on the instrumentals, as they were enjoyable in what I associate as being more of a 'classical' kind of way. These comments by Leslie Katz, from The San Francisco Examiner for me hold true:
. . . his ensemble of musicians playing saxophone, oboe, cello, bass and keyboards created some gorgeous instrumental solos (the highlight of the performance),
With the other reviewer, Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle Music Critic, I agreed with this, as well:
. . . you can practically tell from the opening strains of one song how the next one will end.
****************************
And in one song, "How Much I Love You," Glass writes a beautiful instrumental figure for woodwinds and strings in parallel thirds that serves as a welcome reminder of how ravishing his music can sometimes sound.
This comment by Joshua causes me to wonder at what juncture the conversation took place between Leonard and Glass, where Philip says to Leonard that it's too beautiful and Leonard comments that he was concerned about what course Philip might take to correct that. I'm wondering if what I saw and heard, and what appears to still be being presented was the Glass's remedy. The road less traveled.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
mfrost
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Re: Leonard in Stanford with Philip Glass

Post by mfrost » Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:55 am

I too was a little disappointed with the Book of Longing performance at Stanford this week. I thought the singers presented the words with little emotion, certainly not with the feeling that I've come to expect from Leonard's singing. The music didn't really grab me, except as some have noted, some of the instrumental portions; I especially liked the cello solo. Odd, since the instrumentals of course have none of Leonard's words in them. The other parts I particularly liked were the poems read by Leonard himself (on tape) -- those were a breath of fresh air.

In fact, I practically fell asleep during some songs in the first half. I felt the second half of the performance was more alive, less boring, but then I think it was drawing toward Philip's chosen dramatic "ending" piece "You Came to Me This Morning." It even seemed that the singers were slightly more alive in the second half, but really I felt they dared not try to interpret Leonard's songs but delivered them somewhat flat.

I also had trouble understanding the songs' words. Fortunately I had read half the libretto before the concert began (not that I remembered it all) and then finally I used my cell phone's light to follow along with the poems toward the end. That helped a lot (I kept the light down so it wouldn't bother my neighbors, but I could see them also trying to read in the dark, without a light of their own). I didn't see any lights that may have been given out for reading along -- maybe that was at another concert, but if you go, bring something to read in the dark with, even if just a muted cell phone. Or at least arrive early enough to read the entire libretto before the performance starts.

I did enjoy seeing the images on the screen in back (and seeing those images in the Art Gallery the night before on the way to the Aurora Forum discussion). And I liked the continuous sequence of all the Cohen self images at the end. And it was great to see Leonard come out for a bow with Philip at the end. His appearance clearly drove the already standing audience into wilder applause just for him.

I agree with Lizzy that it was great to see Leonard smiling broadly at times and laughing in the Aurora conversation. It's wonderful that we can watch those clips of the conversation that were posted -- thanks much! I was there, but I enjoyed seeing them again and noting Leonard's exact words. And I can show those to my family and friends.

The entire conversation should be online at some point at auroraforum.com (via "Stanford on iTunes"), and KQED-FM (NPR radio station in San Francisco) often broadcasts Aurora Forum presentations, though of course sans video.

I submitted a written question for the conversation, but they went through all the questions from the audience, with one question clearly skipped, and got to the end without having asked mine. Then they were seemingly done and about to end when Alan Acosta asked Leonard *my* question: was he going to go on tour again soon? It was wonderful to hear the reply: "I think I *will* go on tour again" (his emphasis). That made my day. And clearly the audience liked his response too, as that answer generated the loudest applause of the evening! Thanks, Leonard -- hope to see you soon! Hallelujah, indeed.

Martin
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