Some notes here from a longer file on the work I've listened to more than any other, out of thousands explored; also a review for Amazon a few years back here (under I.McHugh)-http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Glass-Dances-Nos-1-5/product-reviews/B0000026OX/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
Glass’s Dance No.1
is a good example of minimalism’s parallel of the aesthetic focus in sex- it has truly incredible magnetism, creating an insatiable fascination and desire with the attention transfixed and mesmerized by every last detail: possibly the most compulsive, unturnoffable thing ever written its returns are almost unique. It’s music of sheer ascent and euphoria with strong onward lines, rhythmic intoxication, fleeting motivic fragments, glittering disappearing edges and understated radiance, all paralleling sexual and narcotic experience and complemented by the sung solfage syllables’ erotic overtones.
Febrility combines with stillness and serenity as intensely singing repeated notes focus, still and daze the attention in sensory ecstasy, revelling in the inner illumination the intonation’s narrow accuracy and focus provides. Bass keyboard notes become increasingly rapid as the work progresses with as in much pop music the starts of bars or short phrases accented, all as increasing heartbeat and inner rush towards orgasm with the thrusting rhythm increasing more slowly; mordent-type intervals parallel the momentary movement to orgasm and the absolute, from and back to the relative.
There’s further the elation of good jazz group improvisation on the same material, blending fabulously in high colour, multi-combinatorial counterpoint in irreconcilable rapture reflecting the assemblages of sensation in sex; emphasis is on the unmediated experiential aesthetic, the non-theoretical base level of reality. This is a work to listen to more than any other in the history of music. Repeated movements in sex parallel those in minimalism and the repeated return to sex parallels the return to minimalism’s good examples, and the remembering of the Self: you can’t attend to sex closely enough nor to minimalism closely enough, even to the individual notes and their particular singing quality enough, nor have sex nor listen to the same piece enough.