From time to time, Phil Glass goes out on tour with his ensemble, playing the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack live in front of the movie. We went to the show this evening and really enjoyed it. The movie ages reasonably well (although the actual physical print was a little tired), with the exception of the over-long, over-excited, un-subtle The Grid segment in the middle. I find I can route around the ham-handed industrial-civilization-sucks message and enjoy the elegant very slow cuts—yes, look at this mountain (or machine, or cloudscape, or unglamorous middle-aged face) for much longer than you thought you wanted to and realise that there’s more there to see than you thought. And there’s a message in that too, about time and attention, that seems more important to me than the other. As for the music, Philip Glass may not be exactly mainstream, but he’s not controversial any more. I have a bunch of his albums and think that both Glassworks and Mishima have some 5-✭ tracks. The band plays beautifully (5 keyboards, 3 woodwinds, one soprano and some of the instrumentalists sing too); Phil doesn’t conduct but gets to play the juicy low slow atmospherics. The sound was clean and pure and solid, too. I really enjoyed the crowd, the last couple of times we’d been at that venue it was for the opera, and the Phil Glass crowd was funkier, better dressed (not more expensively, better), and (dare I say it) looked more intelligent.