Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival launches today its premiere streaming portal featuring exclusive films of a selection of its landmark performances and events




Jerry Quickley performing Whistleblower at the 2014 Days and Nights Festival; Photo credit: Arturo Béja

February 4, 2021—The annual multidisciplinary Days and Nights Festival—which since 2011 has taken place in and around Big Sur, California and has brought together luminaries and pioneers in fields including music, dance, theater, literature, film and the sciences—launches today its premiere streaming portal featuring exclusive films of a selection of its landmark performances and events. Click HERE or visit, and see below for upcoming film details and release dates.

Conceived and developed by world-renowned American composer Philip Glass—who has taken part every year since inception—Days and Nights is designed to encompass arts of all disciplines and nurture them in a way that welcomes the future while exploring seminal developments throughout history. Key to that vision are collaborations between artists from across a broad range of disciplines, and the selection of films slated for release includes contributions by such wide-ranging figures as JoAnne Akalaitis, Tibetan artist Tenzin Choegyal, Danny Elfman, Molissa Fenley, María Irene Fornés, Allen Ginsberg, Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Jerry Quickley and Glass himself. Featured performers and ensembles includeDennis Russell Davies, Ira Glass, Matt Haimovitz, Tara Hugo, Lavinia MeijerMaki NamekawaGregory Purnhagen, Third Coast PercussionOpera Parallèle and Glass and his Philip Glass Ensemble.

“From the beginning, I wanted it to be a cross-cultural festival, but not just in terms of musicians from different parts of the world. I meant it in a truly cultural way. I was interested in history, in culture, in medicine, in science, in psychotherapy, in various kinds of spiritual practices,” says Glass of conceiving Days and Nights. “By the time I was 29, musically I had found my voice. By the time I was 30, I realized that ‘finding my voice’ was actually a cul-de-sac. The real question is, how do you get rid of it once you find it? I discovered that when I intersected my own hearing with other people’s work, it changed my music—I could not learn to listen to their music without changing what I did. I saw collaboration as an engine of change. Without that, I would be writing the music I wrote in 1960.”Produced and directed by filmmaker Arturo Béjar for his company Obsidian Lens, the films are being released under a visionary, fully transparent model designed to create real income for the artists involved. In an era where art and entertainment are regularly accessed through the internet, business models where millions of views or listens are necessary for an artist to make meaningful income have become the norm.

As an alternative, Days and Nights has developed a new model under which the films will be offered for sale and rental across a variety of platforms (as opposed to a single platform to which an exclusive license is granted) and revenue will be allocated as follows: 30% to the performers/companies; 30% to the rights holders of the material; 30% to fund the worldwide distribution services and production of future works; and 10% to the cost of producing the films.“Knowing how hard it is these days for most artists to make a living, we set out with the goal to film and share with a global audience these singular, intimate events—sometimes experienced by less than one hundred audience members—and to do so in a way that honors the value of an artist’s work,” Béjar says. “We can demonstrate that it is an economically feasible model. We hope that other artists can learn from how Philip has maintained his financial and creative independence over the course of his long and revolutionary career.”

Following the rollout of the films, the Tenth Anniversary edition of the Days and Nights Festival will take place virtually in 2021 due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “What I’m interested in is what happens when you take a whole evening of people who are coming in from different places, and the commonality we have has partly been established by the technology,” Glass says of his approach to a digital Festival. “This has been a difficult time, and I’m hoping that what we learn will propel us into a better place than we were before. Live performances are going to come back, but also online performances are developing in ways we never could have imagined. The Festival will be truly international, and no one will have left home—you’ll hear things that never could have happened before, that previously would have been limited to the people in a room in Big Sur or Carmel. The whole meaning of the Festival’s name has changed, because now it truly is ‘Days and Nights.’ My days are his nights, her nights are my days, and so forth.” Details of the Tenth Anniversary Days and Nights Festival to be announced soon.



An exploration of the events of the 2013 leak of classified information by Edward SnowdenConcept and text by: Jerry Quickley
Music by: Philip Glass
Performed by: Jerry Quickley, Philip Glass, Tara Hugo, Alex Weston, Alex Weil,
Miranda Cuckson, David Harding, Matt Haimovitz, Lavina Meijer
Filmed at Days and Nights 2017
Release date: February 4, 2021

The Pattern of the Surface: Molissa Fenley Dance Company

Choreography by: Molissa Fenley
Music by: Linda Bouchard, Tigran Mansurian, Frank Cassara, Andrew Toovey
Performed by: Molissa Fenley, Christiana Axelsen, Frank Cassara, David Harding
Filmed at Days and Nights 2017
Release date: February 4, 2021

Heart Strings

A musical storytelling of the Dalai Lama’s escape from TibetCreated by: Tenzin Choegyal, Philip Glass
Performed by: Tenzin Choeygal, Tsering D. Bawa, Will Calhoun,Jaron Lanier, Lavinia Meijer, Alex Weston, Philip Glass
Filmed at Days and Nights 2018
Release date: February 4, 2021

Two Pianos: Glass

Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies perform an all-Philip Glass programCreated and performed by: Maki Namekawa, Dennis Russell Davies
Filmed at Days and Nights 2018
Release date: February 12, 2021


A new opera adaptation of Cuban playwright María Irene Fornés’ acclaimed playCreated by: JoAnne Akalaitis, Philip Glass
Book by: María Irene Fornés, based on the play by María Irene Fornés
Performed by: Gregory Purnhagen, Peter Stewart, Tomas Cruz, Alex Weston, Lavinia Meijer
Filmed at Days and Nights 2019
Release date: February 12, 2021

Philip Glass and The Philip Glass Ensemble: Retrospective

Created by: Philip Glass and The Philip Glass Ensemble
Performed by: Philip Glass, Lisa Bielawa, Dan Bora, Jon Gibson, Peter Hess,Ryan Kelly, Mick Rossi, Eleonor Sandresky, Andrew Sterman
Filmed at Days and Nights 2017
Release date: March 18, 2021

Rehearsing Wichita

A behind-the-scenes look at Philip and Ira Glass rehearsing Allen Ginsberg’s
iconic poem “Wichita Vortex Sutra”
Created & performed by: Philip Glass, Ira GlassFilmed at Days and Nights 2017Release date: March 18, 2021

Kafka’s In The Penal Colony

Created by: Philip Glass, Rudy Wurlitzer, Opera ParallèlePerformed by: Opera ParallèleFilmed at Days and Nights 2018Release date: April 15, 2021

Third Coast Percussion in Big Sur

Created by: Devonté Hynes, Danny Elfman, Philip GlassPerformed by: Third Coast PercussionFilmed at Days and Nights 2019Release date: April 15, 2021

Two Pianos: Bernstein and Harrison

Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies perform the Symphonic Dances from
West Side Story and Lou Harrison’s Third Piano SonataCreated and performed by: Maki Namekawa, Dennis Russell DaviesFilmed at Days and Nights 2018. Release date: TBA

Additional releases to be announced

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