What Are Years Are What?

Here is a short video I made about a piece of minimalist music by Philip Glass. (The video provides brief background info and analysis.) As it mentions in the video, the piece of music is meant to depict a sculpture by abstract expressionist sculptor Mark di Suvero. When researching, however, I found out that the sculpture (“Are Years What?“) is actually based on a very specific poem (“What Are Years?“) by American Modernist poet Marianne Moore.

I found it interesting that though this multi-layered connection exists, it was never mentioned in analyses of any of the pieces!!!!!

In the second half of the video I posted, I set the text of Moore’s poem over Glass’ depiction of di Suvero’s sculpture, effectively skipping the middle man.  This is a case where over-beating of the poem to retrieve meaning is possible, since it is likely that Glass never read Moore’s poem about.  However, since there are direct references to the poem in the sculpture, and to the sculpture in the music, I find it likely that some sort of transitive relation has trickled through mediums.  Do you perceive any specific relations between the three?

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1 Response to What Are Years Are What?

  1. Brian Morefield says:

    Interesting post. I wrote a post earlier in the semester about J.D. McClatchy, one of the poets we read about, writing a brief dissertation about Mozart. Poetry is a lot like music so I believe many poets probably have a small background in it.

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