Kids Commute - Minimalism Week! Monday

Oct 22, 2018

KC 235: Today's composer, Philip Glass.
Credit Pasquale Salerno, 1993

Happy Monday! Welcome to MINIMALISM Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

Minimalism is a musical movement in which little things mean a lot. The music uses simple tunes, harmonies and rhythms to create a complex sound. Some minimalist music isn't intended to be heard as a tune you hum along to - the composer just wants you to be present with interesting sounds for a while.

Today, we'll hear what happens when small things add up to a big thing - in this case, an opera by American composer Philip Glass. Glass wrote a minimalist opera called "Satyagraha" about Indian political leader Mahatma Gandhi. The backing music is very simple, as are the notes in the long lines sung by the singer, but the whole thing adds up to a rich, gorgeous piece of music.

KC 235
"Evening Song"
"Satyagraha"
Composer: Philip Glass
Singer: Douglas Perry
Conductor/Orchestra: Christopher Keene/NYC Opera Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:


How's this for a fascinating sing-a-long? Here are the lyrics to "Evening Song" in English and Sanskrit!

Here's a video of "Evening Song" from the 2012 Metropolitan Opera production: