Two leaders from very different musical worlds, the innovative pianist Bruce Brubaker and scientist-now-electronic-artist Max Cooper collaborate to create this latest expression of music by Philip Glass and tell a story of diversity and vulnerability. Commissioned by and introduced at the Paris Philharmonie in 2019, Glassforms melds the acoustic concert grand piano with synths and cutting edge electronic production techniques to create a compelling album and a dynamic live experience. Uniting an audience of club goers, post-classical aficionados, and seasoned piano music lovers with shows at Cité de la Musique in Paris, London’s Barbican, and Sonar festival in Barcelona, Glassforms received high praise.
Rather than just reworking or augmenting via traditional means, Max Cooper and Bruce Brubaker fundamentally rewire Glassforms in a manner that’s not possible with human composition tools. Max built a new system for musical expression through coding with software developer Alexander Randon, creating a tool for taking live data from the piano and transforming it into new but intimately related forms which drive his synths on stage.
The result is that each of the pieces by Glass becomes its own electronic “instrument,” an instrument Bruce plays in addition to, and simultaneously with the original piece. As Bruce plays the piano and controls synths with his playing, Max modulates and augments, sometimes adding his own melodies to form hybrid variants.