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Orion

Artist: Philip Glass
Philip Glass - Orion CD
Label: Orange Mountain
Regular Price: $22.95
On Sale For: $19.47 
Year: 2005
Format: CD

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Philip Glass comments in his liner notes that the constellation Orion may be seen year-round from both northern and southern hemispheres and that it appears to have inspired myths and stories in almost every culture. Organized around this unifying idea, Orion, a collaborative work by Glass and other artists for the 2004 Olympiad, is an expansive multicultural celebration, inspired by stargazing but ultimately oriented toward the Earth and its diverse inhabitants. Starting with Australia, then moving on to China, Canada, Africa, Brazil, India, and Greece, Glass portrays each nation through its characteristic style or instrumental associations, and provides energetic pattern music for an impressive roster of international artists. Mark Atkins' deep drones on the didgeridoo, Wu Man's brilliant playing of the Chinese pipa, and Ashley MacIsaac's poignant Celtic fiddling carry the musical journey across the first disc, and the overlapped performances by Mandingo drummer Foday Musa Suso, the Brazilian group UAKTI, sitarist Gaurav Mazumdar, and vocalist Eleftheria Arvanitaki bring this globe-trotting extravaganza to its anthemic culmination in Athens, backed along the way by the Philip Glass Ensemble. Whether or not one likes Glass' music, which is considerably tempered by the cooperative effort and toned-down for general consumption, one may still appreciate the sincerity of this generous tribute to world music and the Olympic spirit.
ARTISTS
Philip Glass (composer, performer); Philip Glass Ensemble, Michael Riesman (conductor)
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