Laurie Anderson on Early Glass Loft Rehearsals

Friday, September 07, 2012

I first heard Philip Glass in 1971 at one of his rehearsals in a loft on the Lower East Side in New York City. I went with a few other artists and we lay on the floor while he and his band played Farfisa organs at mind-melting volumes. These rehearsals often lasted for several hours and it was possible to drift to many different mental places. One of the regulars at the rehearsal was the sculptor Sol Lewitt, who said, “I do my best work at Phil’s rehearsals.”

I have always felt that Philip’s music is completely unique. One reason I love it is because it induces a state close to Buddhist meditation. By that I mean that his music somehow constantly stays in the present.

I’d really love to know how this works. Maybe it has something to do with the suspension of expectations. After a while you stop listening for change and sink into the flow. You start to look around. Appreciate. Concentrate. Wake up. There is no other music that does this to me and I treasure it.

Excerpt appears courtesy of the author and Nonesuch Records, from Glass Box: A Nonesuch Retrospective, © 2008 Nonesuch Records Inc.

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