We celebrate tomorrow the actual birthday of Philip Glass, but here on the Ginsberg Project, a Philip Glass weekend
Here's how Philip brought in the New Year in New York earlier this month
& from the memoirs:
"Some years later when my sister Sheppie's husband, Morton Abramowitz was the Ambassador to Turkey, Allen Ginsberg came with me and some other friends on a tour of Greek theaters on the Ionian coast. I was interested in the acoustics and how they worked, so Allen would go on the stage and recite the famous W.B.Yeats poem "Sailing to Byzantium". The tourists who were around would sit down in the seats in the amphitheater and listen, because here's someone with a big head of hair who looks like a professor - I don't think anyone knew it was Allen Ginsberg - and the guards didn't stop him. He would walk to the center of the stage and recite, and it is amazing how beautiful and clear the poem would sound in that open environment."
[Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass & company at Ephesus, Turkey, 1990 - Photograph by Allen Ginsberg, courtesy the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto]
"When Allen met Gelek Rimpoche soon after they immediately became close friends. From then on, he was at all the teaching sessions that would happen in New York and traveled frequently to Ann Arbor. During those years, Gelek Rimpoche's Jewel Heart organized two retreats a year - one in the winter and one in the summer - and Allen and I went to both every year. There were usually three of us sharing a room, the third person being either Stokes Howell, another writer friend of mine, or Kathy Laritz, Gelek Rimpoche's assistant at that time. During thr retreats, I often saw Allen wake up at night, turn on a flashlight, and begin writing poetry."
"One summer, Allen and his lifelong friend Peter Orlovsky came to visit me in Cape Breton. I remember many evenings after dinner when Allen would recite poetry. There was no TV near us and the radio offered very little of interest, but Allen knew volumes of poetry by heart. He could recite hours of poetry by Shakespeare, Blake and Tennyson, to list just a few."
[Philip Glass -Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]
"He told me that his father, Louis Ginsberg, himself a poet of some recognition had gotten him and his brother Eugene as children to memorize poetry. At times there were readings when both Allen and his brother read poems, a performance I found both moving and beautiful."
[Philip Glass & his sister in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, Turkey, 1990 - Photograph by Allen Ginsberg, courtesy the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto]
to be continued