Listening to Philip Glass play his solo piano music is like sitting in the Laundromat. A peaceful, predictable hum throbs in the pleasantly warm air. Things tumble round and round, shifting cycles now and then, spinning, lolling, hypnotizing. You sink into your chair, breathing regularly. It's difficult to suppress a yawn.
And the pieces Glass played Saturday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale differed from one another about as much as laundry loads do. It didn't matter that one of them, "Wichita Vortex Sutra," was originally designed to accompany an Allen Ginsberg poem, and another, "Mad Rush," was originally for organ--they were the same in approach and result. You get the idea that Glass doesn't throw away enough, that he thinks that any variation on his theme is worth preserving.