Tribute to Glass

It was over 20 years ago when I was living briefly in Frankfurt, Germany, that I decided to go see Martin Scorsese new film about the Dalai Lama. A film that, in my opinion as far as cinematography and editing is concerned, is one of the most underrated films of all time. But it wasn’t the film that impacted my life. It was the music.

What came out from the speakers in that cinema was this dark Tibetan chant accompanied by repetitive and hypnotic melodies that formed a very deep and spiritually fulfilling end result. I had never heard such music before.

I began early in life to be attracted to classical music like Beethoven and Tchaikovsky and as I grew older I moved quickly into rock and roll and eventually punk music. This is a natural evolution when you enter adolescence, but there comes a time when you have to grow up. Not grow up in the sense of being an adult, but in the sense of spiritual maturity.

This music entered my life at the perfect moment when I was just about to begin this journey. A journey I guess I had always been on, but becoming a teenager kind of distracted me with rebellion and angst and anger.


The composer whose music I am speaking of, the man behind the soundtrack of Kundun, is of course none other than Philip Glass. He is, in my humble view, currently the greatest living composer… perhaps of all time. Is that an exaggeration? For me it is not.  

When I listen to Philip Glass music I enter a different state of mind. Within his, on the surface, very simple and repetitive melodies lies a depth I have not experienced in any other music apart from perhaps the Icaros of the Shipibo (but that is another story).

There is an immense beauty that touches not my heart, but my soul. It makes me contemplate, meditate and transcend. It inspires me in any creative work I do as I always have his music as part of the soundtrack of my life. I don’t imagine I could live without it.

Whenever I partake of a sacred plant medicine (when I am not in the presence of a Shipibo Ayahuasquero that sings to me directly) I always use Philip Glass music. Perhaps this is also why it has come to mean so much to me, but not only that.

There is something that comes out of his melodies that perfectly captures the eternal beauty of the cosmos, and the circle of life and death. I cannot describe it in words. Only hearing it will do it justice.

There are two tracks in particular that I think stand out more than any other, and these two tracks I listen to at least on a weekly basis (if not more). You can check them out below.

Natural Born Alchemist © 29 November 2016