It may seem strange, but I truly believe that the greatest music is that which makes you feel two distinct emotions at the same time. My favourite songs make me feel happy and sad; despondent and hopeful. They make me feel, they make my heart weep and feel like it’s going to burst. They make the world shrink and time stop. I feel like this when I listen to Philip Glass.
Of all his music – and I’m still wading my way through the back catalogue – it’s his solo piano pieces that I treasure the most. Each piece is so simple, so stark, so minimalist, and yet…yet so full, so big, at the same time. You don’t have to be a musical scholar or a musicology expert to know that his music is perfect. There is a type of mathematics behind his work, a greater scheme and pattern, but in many ways that doesn’t matter. I can’t read the musical notes on the score but I can feel the emotion of each note in my ear, and that’s enough.
Phillip Glass will play the National Concert Hall on 22nd June. It will be a solo piano gig. I’ll be sitting up in the balcony. The cheapest seats in the house – and the richest seats in the world for me on that night.