Passages is a collaborative chamber music studio album co-composed by Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass, released in 1990. This historic collaboration of two of the most notable figures of late twentieth century Eastern and Western classical music brought full-circle a process which began when the promising young American minimalist musician & composer Philip Glass met Indian sitar maestro & composer Ravi Shankar in Paris in 1965. That year, Glass, studying with the great Nadia Boulanger, was earning pocket money doing notation and conducting a recording session for the soundtrack of Conrad Rook's film Chappaqua. The score's composer, Ravi Shankar, was directing his ensemble from the sitar. The album's content is a hybrid of Hindustani classical music and Glass' distinct American minimal contemporary classical style, each experimenting with, and borrowing the other's style.
The Glass encounter was a rare instance of classical music reciprocity, unlike previous Shankar musical "collaborations" .Those were actually elaborate sessions with masters of other musical traditions joining Ravi to "jam" on his own music. Here, each composer presented thematic material to the other as raw material from which these finished pieces were fashioned. Passages contains four such co-ventures: a) two Glass compositions on themes by Shankar (Shankar / Glass); b) two Shankar compositions on themes by Glass (Glass / Shankar), c) as well as one piece from each composer completely of his own devising.
The result was an arresting example of musical collaboration.
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