Pondering an artist’s social responsibility while reading Philip Glass memoir

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To kick off my summer reading, I’ve begun with Philip Glass: Words Without Music A Memoir, being a huge fan of Glass’s work. It has been an incredibly moving experience, rich with Glass’s generosity of spirit as he shares his deeply held personal insights into what it means to be an artist today.

“I came to understand that I had a social responsibility, which I could not avoid, but I also had a personal responsibility, which I was entitled to….I was in my forties before I was able to express, in musical terms, ideas that belong to the world of social change. When I was younger, I hadn’t taken on any kind of active role. But when I was older, I became involved in social issues…just in the nick of time, I would say, because now there is a large part of our society that things that it is defending the principles of America whereas, in fact, it is destroying them.”

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