Philip Glass Composes for Sesame Street (1979)

Last night, Philip Glass celebrated his 75th birthday at Carnegie Hall, attending the US premiere of his Ninth Symphony. His long and illustrious career continues. But today we’re bringing you back to 1979, when Glass wrote a composition to accompany “Geometry of Circles,” a four-part series of animations that aired on the beloved children’s show Sesame Street. A strange detour for an influential composer? Not really. Not when you consider that Glass came out of a 1960s tradition that made modern music more playful and approachable.

And speaking of approachable, don’t miss Philip Glass getting interviewed by his friendly cousin Ira Glass. You know Ira as the host of This American Life. The interview took place in 1999, and NPR finally brought it back yesterday, at least for a limited time. You can listen here.

Related Content:

Ira Glass on the Art of Storytelling

A Minimal Glimpse of Philip Glass

Philip Glass & Lou Reed at Occupy Lincoln Center: An Artful View


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  1. Lindsey says . . . | February 2, 2012 / 2:29 pm

    Interesting…I remember watching these segments on Sesame Street as a kid. I had no idea Phillip Glass composed them!

  2. Jerome says . . . | July 19, 2012 / 2:04 am

    Wow, the 70s were really weird indeed … First visual acid trip for the kids!?

  3. Dave says . . . | July 31, 2014 / 8:13 am

    You’ll hear pretty much this same piece in the film, Koyaanisqatsi.

    No one can compose three to five notes endlessly like Glass.

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