Just in time to capitalize on the umpteenth re-birth of the Man Who Fell To
Earth, avant-garde pianist/composer Philip Glass has released the Heroes
Symphony (Point Music), his six-track cover of the 1977 David Bowie album.
On the CD, which features Glass' interpretation of the songs "Heroes," "Sense
of Doubt," "Sons of the Silent Age," "Neukoln," "V-2 Schneider" and bonus track
"Abdulmajid," the composer puts his signature atmospheric touch to the
compositions, weaving in instrumental themes not explored by the original Bowie
songs and adding even more dramatic pause to one of Bowie's darker, more
This is Glass' second stab at covering the trilogy
of albums from Bowie's late '70s Berlin period, the first being 1993's Low
Symphony. A source cryptically hinted that the as-yet-unrecorded, Lodger
Symphony "might take on a different form."
It seems appropriate that
this second Glass reconfiguration comes at a time when Bowie has just released
his latest chameleonic work, Earthling, which, judging from a
Saturday Night Live performance last weekend (as well as the recent
Madison Square Garden birthday concert), has re-energized the singer after the
mostly unkind response to his last effort, Outside.
accompanied on the all-instrumental piece by the American Composers Orchestra.
The composer has also just wrapped another pseudo-rock collaboration, this time
with Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. Although the pair don't actually work together,
Jagger is scheduled to appear on a soundtrack to the independent film,
Bent, in which he has a cameo and for which Glass wrote the instrumental
score. Glass is also finishing work on another soundtrack effort, this one for
Kundun, the new Scorsese movie about the life of Tibetan spiritual
leader the Dalai Lama.