By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
After taking a curtain call, Glass left the opera house to address the protesters and recited lines from the third act, which were relayed via "human microphone": "When righteousness/Withers away/And evil rules the land/We come into being/Age after age/And take visible shape/And move/A man among men/For the protection of good/Thrusting back evil/And setting virtue/On her seat again."
Reflecting later, Glass says: "We're supposed to have free speech and free assembly, but we're supposed to get a permit. Why do we need a permit if it's free? So it's kind of backwards. We've got to get permits, and yet, this is a public space."
At 75, Glass doesn't seem especially elderly in any way. He still sports a head of hair that would make him a plausible candidate for the Oval Office (or that would send Larry David into a fit of envy). He has eight- and 10-year-old children he walks to the Little Red Schoolhouse and the Third Street Music School (on 11th Street) when he's in town. He spends eight hours most days writing music. At the annual Tibet House concert on February 13, which he has curated for the past 21 years, Glass has assembled an eclectic lineup, including beatboxer Rahzel, Tibetan singer Dechen Shak-Dagsay, and British singer James Blake.
"Things haven't changed that much for me," Glass says. "I'm playing. I'm doing what I want to do. Musicians are capable of that. You see people still playing for years and years. Sonny Rollins is still playing. Dave Brubeck is playing.
"That seems to be my trajectory. I hope that I can, because I love what I do. I don't want to stop.
"I don't have retirement in mind in any way at all. So the numbers, the numbers catch up with you, but they're just numbers. The essential mood of my life and the way I work has not changed," the septuagenarian says before running off to a rehearsal.
Every day this month, we are publishing additional material from our interviews with Philip Glass and his collaborators at villagevoice.com.