Presenting Performance Arts since 1982
Philip Glass | KOYAANISQATSI LIVE – Life out of Balance
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Montréal (Québec)
H2X 1Y9
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175, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

Montréal  (Québec)

“[…] the score for KOYAANISQATSI is invigorating, often tremulously beautiful, and almost extraordinarily in synergy with the visions projected upon the screen. […] Mr. Reggio’s images haunt the viewer, accompanied by one of the most startling and original soundtracks ever written.”

– The New York Times




As part of a North American and European tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Philip Glass Ensemble, Traquen’Art is proud to present the only Canadian performance of the KOYAANISQATSI – Life out of Balance film concert, at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on Saturday, September 14, 2019, at 8:00 p.m.

The projection of Godfrey Reggio’s cinematographic masterpiece will be accompanied on stage by the legendary Philip Glass, composer of the original soundtrack, and the Philip Glass Ensemble under the musical direction of Michael Riesman. This will be a unique opportunity for cinephiles and music lovers to see and hear these musical icons.

KO-YAA-NIS-QATSI (from the Hopi language [1]) n. 1. Crazy life. 2. Life in turmoil. 3. Life disintegrating. 4. Life out of balance. 5. A state of life that calls for another way of living.

KOYAANISQATSI [1982] is the first film of the QATSI trilogy followed by POWAQQATSI (1987) and NAQOYQATSI (2002), which was the result of a twenty-year collaboration between Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass. Unclassifiable, extraordinary and focused at the heart of the world, this film created between 1975 and 1982 is one of the most powerful cinematographic works of the late 20th century.

Non-verbal, the film integrates ideas, images and music—which acts as a narrative framework—orchestrated in time and space to show viewers our world from a different angle: that is, a world where culture and nature are in opposition, and where technology takes control over human existence. KOYAANISQATSI has no plot, no actors and no dialogue except that between the viewer and the film.

Created for a worldwide audience, KOYAANISQATSI conveys its message entirely through the universal language of image and sound. A visual poem and meditation, the film propels intense synergy between the music and the flood of images orchestrated by the director. The film forever transformed the unique relationship between music and the moving image. Around the world, filmmakers, video artists, and photographers as well as composers and musicians from classical to rock credit KOYAANISQATSI as a pivotal influence in shaping a new and unforgettable language.

In 2000, the film KOYAANISQATSI was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.


Considered to be one of the most influential composers ever to work in film, and beyond with his masterful opus, Philip Glass has reinvented the relationship between music and the moving image. Rather than simply providing music as accompaniment to an otherwise finished film, Glass considers music an essential narrative force and has worked as a true collaborator with directors on the feature films KOYAANISQATSI, POWAQQATSI, NAQOYQATSI (Godfrey Reggio), Mishima (Paul Schrader), The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris), Bent (Sean Mathias) and Kundun (Martin Scorsese), among others, conceptualizing the score from the initial stages of the film and sharing in the editing process.


Over the years, the music written for KOYAANISQATSI has only gained in stature and become a veritable treasure filled with exciting and invigorating moments. That’s why seeing and hearing Philip Glass is a must for cinephiles and music lovers.

Discover or rediscover this cult film!


[1] Hopi is a Uto-Aztecan language spoken in a very arid region in northeastern Arizona, United States. The Hopi people (contraction of Hopitu-shinumu, or “the Peaceful People”) are a Puebloan group, neighbours of the Navajo, the Papago and the Zuni.

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