Filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass collaborated on their first project in 1982, the landmark non-narrative feature film Koyaanisquatsi, which emphasized the power of images and music, touching on themes from spirituality, global ecology and “life in transformation.” A broad international fan community for Koyaanisquatsi emerged, inspiring Reggio and Glass to create two sequel films, a trio of revolutionary classic art films now known as the “Qatsi Trilogy.” After a twelve-year hiatus, the two artists reunited to create VISITORS, their first collaboration incorporating a full symphonic score. VISITORS premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival with the Toronto Symphony accompanying the film as it screened, the first film to have premiered in such a way.
VISITORS has gone on to be presented with live orchestra around the world, providing audiences with a surprising and engaging cinematic and musical “concert” experience.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar’s Indian music into Western notation. By 1974, Glass had a number of innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, and the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach for which he collaborated with Robert Wilson. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8—Glass’ latest symphonies—along with Waiting for the Barbarians, an opera based on the book by J.M. Coetzee, premiered in 2005. In the past few years several new works were unveiled, including Book of Longing (Luminato Festival) and an opera about the end of the Civil War entitled Appomattox (San Francisco Opera). Glass’ opera Kepler premiered with the Landestheater Linz, Austria in September 2009 and his latest opera, The Perfect American about the death of Walt Disney premiered at the Teatro Real on January 22nd, Madrid in 2013 and will be performed by the English National Opera in June 2013. His Symphony #9 was completed in 2011 and was premiered by the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, Austria on January 1, 2012 and his Symphony #10 received its European premiere in France in August. Glass’ most recent opera Spuren de Verirrten, ‘The Lost’, premiered at the Landestheater Linz, Austria on April 13th, 2013.
Godfrey Reggio is a pioneer of a form of film that creates poetic images of extraordinary emotive impact. He is best known for the Qatsi Trilogy – essays of image and music which question the world in which we live. Born in New Orleans in 1940, Reggio entered the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic Pontifical Order, at age 14 and remained as a monk until 1968. As a Christian Brother in New Mexico during the 1960s, Reggio co-founded various community organizations including Young Citizens for Action, La Clinica de la Gente and La Gente. In 1972 he co-founded a nonprofit organization in Santa Fe, the Institute for Regional Education. In 1974 and 1975, in collaboration with the New Mexico Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Reggio co-organized a multimedia public interest campaign on the invasion of privacy and the use of technology to control behavior. Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, made in collaboration with Composer Philip Glass and Director of Photography Ron Fricke, gained a national and international audience, critical acclaim and launched the Qatsi Trilogy. As of 2010, Koyaanisqatsi has been played LIVE with projection and orchestra over 200 times in venues worldwide. Reggio’s filmography, with all films scored by collaborator Philip Glass, includes: Koyaanisqatsi (1982), Powaqqatsi (1988), Naqoyqatsi (2002), Anima Mundi (1992), and Evidence (1995). In 1993, Reggio was invited by Luciano Benetton and Oliviero Toscani to develop a new school “to smell the future” – an enterprise of exploration and production in the arts, technology and mass media. It was called Fabrica – Futuro Presente and it opened in the mid-1990s in Treviso, Italy, just outside Venice. Reggio has for the past 13 years been on the faculty of the Telluride Film Festival as a resident curator and presenter of films. He also lectures on technology, culture and cinema.
Associate Director, Producer, and Editor
Jon Kane was the editor and sound designer of Naqoyqatsi, the third film in the Qatsi Trilogy directed by Godfrey Reggio and scored by Philip Glass. Kane has done notable work as a commercial director and editor. The New York Times described his style as “psychedelic.” In the early years of MTV, he filmed and edited the original show opening to The Real World and worked on the “Moon Man” campaign. His series of branding spots for the VH1 “Behind the Music” campaign were famously parodied by Saturday Night Live. Kane has been nominated for a Clio Award, and a spot he created for TimeWarner was included in MoMA’s Department of Cinema collection. In addition to his commercial work, Kane has edited and directed several short films and music videos, and has been active as a house music DJ since the early 1980s. Kane toured worldwide as the DJ for Fischerspooner and edited and directed several of the band’s music videos.
Jon Kane is the Associate director, Producer and editor of the feature film Visitors, the latest cinema collaboration with Godfrey Reggio, Philip Glass and Steven Soderbergh. The film was produced and edited out of his company opticnerve™ studios based in Red Hook, Brooklyn.