The title of Scott Hicks' paean to iconic New York composer Philip Glass puns on Music in 12 Parts, one of Glass's defining works from the 1970s. In that early piece, overstuffed with sound, Glass employees repetitive phrases and assorted sources of thousands of tiny notes, from voice and saxophone to a flute and a troupe of organs. It's important to note, though, that Music in 12 Parts began only as one piece with a dozen instrumental lines; over time, Glass expanded it into 12 interrelated pieces that, performed in full, amount to more than four hours of music. Much like that piece, Glass, now 72, is more than the sum of his early minimalist work. Luckily, Hicks attempts to give the author, film composer, curator, arranger, teacher and pizza-making enthusiast a chance to come to life in this film, which played The Belcourt last summer but makes its national television premiere tonight via PBS/NPT's American Masters series.
Wed., April 8, 8 p.m., 2009