Blogging 'Einstein'

Philip Glass's Masterwork, Minute by Breathless Minute

Lucie Jansch

By Eileen Reynolds

Published September 21, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 8)

7:18: New scene! The organ music has turned busy. A little boy stands at the top of a tower, holding a glowing white cube. He’s got a wire attached to his back; I hope this means he will fly. On the ground, yet another lanky woman in suspenders is marching back and forth and waving her arms like she’s trying to land a plane. She’s got something long and thin in her left hand — a pencil? Meanwhile, a guy in a red shirt seems to be scribbling on an imaginary chalkboard. A train slowly inches its way onto the stage from stage left. The chorus is singing so quickly that I can’t quite make out the solfege syllables. I look at the train and think they’re singing, “Keep moving; keep moving.”

7:20: Something big and white is coming down from the heavens! Is it going to be a giant crucifix?

7:22: Not a crucifix. Just a big, white vertical bar. The train is gone. The boy’s still got that glowing white cube. Mi-mi-so-so-so-mi-mi-mi-so-so-so. Here comes another suspenders girl, and a picture of a train crash. What? The boy throws a paper airplane from up in his tower.

7:28: I notice a big seashell — a conch — shrouded in smoke on the ground stage right. Lots more suspenders people are marching out on stage, grinning. They look like an army of happy automatons from “Doctor Who.”

7:30: Holy rhythm shift! This is almost groovy. Ah, there’s the train again, with a conductor on it. He’s got a red beard, a white face and a pipe. A pipe! Like Einstein! I think that’s what landing-a-plane girl has in her hand. When will the boy fly? I want him to fly. The guy in the red jacket is saying something about love.

7:36: The tall black woman walks out onstage reading a newspaper. I wonder how many people in this audience are high.

7:38: Guy in red jacket is doing that weird talk-singing that in German they call Sprechstimme. I am proud of myself for remembering this music-school word. The rhythm shifts again — “1,2,3,4,5” — and the organ is blasting out low notes that I can feel in my chest. Wait — we’ve got this whole train scene but there’s also one girl facing away from us and waving a red signal flag like she’s trying to help a ship come to shore. One of the cheerful automatons picks up the conch and looks pleased with herself. What is the conch for? All I can think of is “Lord of the Flies.” Oh! The boy’s tower is slowly tipping over to the right. Will he fly now?


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.