Video: Philip Glass's Sesame Street pieces

 Muppet Images 5 57 1576N In 1977, avant-garde composer Philip Glass created a lovely series of short animations for Sesame Street. According to the Muppet Wiki, "these works very closely resemble the "Dance" numbers written during the same time period as (Glass's) Einstein on the Beach opera."
Link to YouTube video, Link to Muppet Wiki entry on Philip Glass (via Daddy Types)

Previously on BB:
• Sesame Street DVD reissues intended for adults only Link
• Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street Link


  1. Once on A&E I saw (on Halloween, of course) a biographical documentary on Edgar Allen Poe. It had interviews with Glass, music by Glass and even a couple of short films (Cask of Amontillado) with music by Glass. Wish I could get that!

  2. I’m pretty sure it’s just the music that is Glass’s – I doubt he’s responsible for the actual animation.

  3. I’ve always been of two minds about Philip Glass. Whenever I hear one of his pieces, it either seems heavy-handed and annoying or it completely blows me away. This one gives me chills, and the visuals fit perfectly.

    There’s also something about knowing that it was intended for children that adds this new layer of strangeness and wonder.

  4. I spent year searching for this as a kid, then I found out it was Phillip Glass, and even sunk $80 into the Einstein Box, figuring it was one of the Knee Play pieces. This is the first time I have seen this video in over 20 years and I am stunned that while it clearly was recorded around the same time, these are not from the huge 4 – disc box.

    Now to track down the original music!

  5. Ernie, I don’t know whether the Sesame Street video music was ever released on its own, but the “Dance” pieces mentioned in the post (I’m assuming they’re the ones on this album) have some very strong resemblances to the music in the video.

  6. Amazing how much further they pushed children’s television back then. The use of jazz and other avagarde art forms still amazes me. Even Mister Rogers used jazz constantly. Have any of you watched Sesame Street lately. Every time I turn it on it’s just elmo muttering cute meaningless crap.

  7. I totally feel you Rider. The hegemony of Elmo and baby talk on Sesame Street most definitely signal the demise of Jim Henson and the rein of anti-intellectual children’s programming.

  8. @ #11 KyleKlip: The demise of Jim Henson happened over 17 years ago. For good kids television, check out Nick Jr.’s Yo Gabba Gabba! It was created in part by the lead of ska group The Aquabats.

    I was talking about these exact animations just last night, as my stepmother is organizing a celebration of Glass all next year at her school, and in fact is in NYC tonight seeing Einstein On The Beach at Carnegie Hall. Among his many other works Glass also did a new soundtrack for the original Bela Lugosi Dracula, performed by the Kronos Quartet.

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