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Beck Reworks 20 Philip Glass Compositions Into ‘NYC: 73-78’

Beck / Photo by Getty Images

Philip Glass might be the only person who gives presents for his birthday. In partial celebration of his 75th year — which so far has included a birthday concert at Carnegie Hall, a music festival in his honor, and a recent staging of his opera Einstein on the Beach — Glass has collaborated with Beck and producer Hector Castillo (David Bowie, Björk, Lou Reed) for Rework: Philip Glass Remixed, to be released October 23 via Orange Mountain Music/Ernest Jenning/The Kora Records.

 Allegedly inspired by a conversation between Glass and Beck, Rework includes remixes from Dan Deacon, Amon Tobin, Nosaj Thing, Tyondai Braxton, and more. As part of an advance listen off the record, NPR is currently streaming Beck’s epic, 20-minute contribution, “NYC: 73-78.” For his rework, Beck incorporated parts of 20 Glass compositions in total, including The Hours’ “Vanessa and the Changelings” and “My Worst Habit” from the opera Monsters of Grace.

In an e-mail to NPR, Beck said, “When listening to pieces from all the different eras of Philip Glass’ work, it felt like there was a continuum — an accretion of harmonic ideas that built over time into a larger, less definable work.” “NYC: 73-78” is nothing if not definable: a haunting, ethereal amalgamation of harmonic wails, xylophone strikes, and electronic thumps. Check it out over at NPR and revisit the site on October 8, when Rework will be streamed in full as part of their First Listen series.