Challenging music

The idea behind my “Not So Easy Listening” program on Radio Riel is to present music that might not otherwise have a place in our programming: long forms, oddities, music that needs explanation, and, yes, sometimes, music that’s hard to listen to.

Tomorrow (Thursday 24 March, 6pm SLT), for my second such program, I’ll have music that challenges us in two ways.

First I will have a few songs to mark the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. On March 25, 1911, 146 garment workers died in a factory fire in downtown Manhattan. Most of them were young immigrant women. The factory owners had locked some of the doors, and the victims either succumbed to the smoke and flames or leapt from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors.

The longer portion of the program is music by composer Philip Glass, including selections from early works such as Music in Similar Motion and the opera Einstein on the Beach, as well as concert and film music.