Listen to Annea Lockwood’s ‘Turning Gong’ from her forthcoming reissue of Glass World


Room40 are presenting a completely revised version of Annea Lockwood’s masterwork Glass World. Orignally issued in 1970, the record completely shaped her fascination for listening as a compositional practice. If you don’t know her work you’re in for a treat, she’s a New Zealand-born American composer with a unique approach to working with sound, via concert music, performance art, multimedia installations and the recorded medium. In the 1960s she created works such as the Glass Concerts, initiating her focus on timbre and new sound sources. She also began a series of Piano Transplants (1969-82) in which defunct pianos were burned, drowned, beached, and planted in an English garden. Piano Burning continues to be performed around the globe – in fact most of these piano performances occurred in Melbourne last year.

Originally released in 1970, Glass World was an exploration of the properties of glass as a musical instrument/ sound source. It’s an attempt to encourage a deeper form of listening, using plates of wired glass, glass discs, chunks of green cullet glass, glass tubing, sheets of micro-glass, glass jars and whatever glass like tools she could get her hands on.

This is what Room40 honcho Lawrence English (who also remastered the album) has to say about it:

“If you were to reflect upon one aspect of her way of being that holds the greatest gravity in her day to day, it is perhaps listening that resonates most vibrantly. It is a practice that she has sought to deepen, with an unwavering dedication across her life, and a it is practice that has sustained her in the absolute. It’s here that Glass World comes into focus for it documents some of her first significant studies into sound, object and listening. It is a recording that captures her in a moment of profound fascination with a rather familiar material, glass. This recording celebrates many things, amongst them Lockwood’s willingness to allow single sounds to resonate, fully. Across each of the twenty three vignettes captured here, Annea Lockwood invites us to lean into the material nature of sound with her. Glass World shimmers with an almost fanatical incandescence. It radiates a vibrational intensity that holds as strongly today as it did upon its original release in 1970 on Tangent Records.”

This edition also is published alongside a new artist-book that features a long form in conversation between Annea and English. It also features exclusive photographs and documentation from major works including her river soundings, World Rhythms, the Piano Transplants and Wild Energy.

Glass World is released via Room40 September 8th 2023. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.