There is nothing deep or insightful about the title of this post.
I’m a big fan of Philip Glass. I’ve written several posts in the past about this and I keep two links here to his website and the Yahoo Philip Glass Forum. Philip Glasss, if you don’t know, is one of the fathers of minimalist music (a term he doesn’t like and really doesn’t even apply anymore). The other big name in Minimalism is Steve Reich. I have some stuff by Steve Reich, but not nearly as much as Philip Glass. I like his work, but I lack the fantaical devotion I have for Philip Glass.
While looking for movies to see a while back, I stumbled accross the offical website for the movie The Dying Gaul. If you click on the link, you’ll immediately start hearing music. I was taken with the music immediately, but really paid no attention to what the voices were actually saying. I’m initial guess was that it was Steve Reich (which was correct) but had no idea what the piece was that was being played. At this point I hadn’t really paid any attention to the idea that there even were lyrics, let alone what they were. (upon review, the lyrics are actually very clear when heard on the website. They are much less clear on the actual track because they only do fragments of the sentence at a given time)
Some searching on Google and I eventually figured out what the music was. It actually took a while, becuase you don’t really see Soundtracks for small independent films. It was indeed a Steve Reich piece and it was called “Proverb”. I could find no CD by that name and really couldn’t find anything about it anywhere. Turns out the reason for that is becuase the CD it was on was recently released, and “Proverb” was not the title of the CD. Sure enough, it was on iTunes just sitting there the whole time.
So I download the song (had to buy the whole album actually) and listen to it several times. In all those times however, I never once paid attention to what was being said, just the sound of the voices. (The vocals are very similar to Gorecki’s Third Symphony) Until last week.
I was listening to it in my car when I caught that the voices were actually saying something! I could recgonize the words “how small…”.
More searching on Google. It turns out that the entire lyrics of the song are nothing more than the sentence in the title of this post repeated over and over. Reich was a philosophy major in college and studied Wittgenstein. The end.
As an added note to my inability to listen to the lyrics of songs, I just recently discovered that I have botched the lyrics to “A Little More Love” by Olivia Newton John, my entire life. I thought the line in the song went, “would a little more love make you cry?”. Its really “would a little more love make it right?”
I like my version better actually.