From Space Oddity to Space Odyssey: Francois Girard's q Playlist
January 21, 2016

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Film and stage director Francois Girard joins CBC Radio q's Shadrach Kabango to share his theatrical q playlist, which ranges from the work of Peter Gabriel to Glenn Gould. He explains how his selections have influenced his life and career.

"The magic of music is a mystery," says Girard.

Girard's selections
1) From the first time he heard David Bowie's Space Oddity at a painter's house, to its recent resurgence after Bowie's death, Girard says he travels to space every time the song plays.

2) Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach. Variation No 26 performed by Glenn Gould, reminds Girard of all the times Gould's music shook his world. "It's part of my life in a very, very deep way until the day I die."

3) While filming concert film Peter Gabriel's Secret World, Gabriel, Girard and their teams would dance together before each show to warm-up. Gabriel's Come Talk to Me "is full of memories... it's engraved in my system."

4) The iconic opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey was an accident says Girard. Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op 30 by Richard Strauss. Performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, it was only supposed to be a placeholder but Stanley Kubrick couldn't let it go. "The marriage between image and music, when it happens... and it works, it gets in your system and it's really hard to walk away from it."

5) Girard has played Terry Riley's album Harp of the New Albion so many times over the last 20 years that he "think[s] my mp3 files have scratches on them." Premonition Rag is the track we played off the album.

6) The Girard-directed Siegfried by Richard Wagner opens at the Canadian Opera Company this Saturday. He's staged this opera a couple of times before. "It's going to look the same and better. We're looking at the same thing but we're re-discovering it through their voices." Here's Siegfried Prelude to Act 3, by Richard Wagner, conducted by Pierre Boulez at the Beyreuth Festival.

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