Pop Culture

I'm Always Interested In Meeting New People

A 2012 SF Weekly interview with composer Philip Glass vs. a 1992 Leonard Cohen interview with singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega.

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An Unreliable Witness

Philip Glass: The idea of violin and piano and harp is a classical setup.

Leonard Cohen: Do you think of it as a mating call?

Glass: I give myself permission to do that.

Cohen: You don’t have to if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want.

Glass: And at a concert it's very much fun to do that, and the audience gets into it, they like that.

Cohen: Well, I’m immune to these kinds of approaches.

Glass: That's the gift of age, to be able to have suppleness in change.

Cohen: We all pay for our lives with our body.

Glass: Many people do that and some people don't.

Cohen: It's a delicious secret sometimes. And it’s a kind of brush painting, where a line or two will indicate a horizon, or a sky, or a sea, or a mountain, and it’s just done with one or two strokes. You're not in character at all.

Glass: It doesn't get me into trouble, because the music is the music, but it gets the writers into trouble when they tell the audience that they're going to hear something and they don't hear it.

Cohen: You're lucky. You have money, fame, youth, beauty, talent.

Glass: Oh, this started happening maybe about a month ago, very recent.

Cohen: This has many resonances of self-abuse.

Glass: I have a long history with it.

Cohen: I'm terribly sorry. I could be one of the beautiful women standing beside you.

Glass: I'm always interested in meeting new people.

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