Jon Gibson must have learned the hard way to include the following disclaimer on his website:
Please note that this is the Jon Gibson known primarily to the world at large as a composer and multi-wind instrumentalist, who has also been affiliated with Philip Glass for many years — and not the other musical Jon Gibson of Christian music fame.
Now that we've cleared THAT up, this particular Jon Gibson is the only person who has performed in the world premieres of Terry Riley's In C, Steve Reich's Drumming, and Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass — the "Big Three minimalist trifecta, if you will. Many may not realize that Mr. Gibson is also a composer (and visual artist) in his own right. I've always been curious to hear Gibson's own music, but his few recordings have always been notoriously out of print and/or impossible to find.
The other day, while slumming around in the tiny "20th Century" ghetto in the ever-dwindling classical section of Tower Records, I was amazed find two CD reissues of Jon Gibson's Chatham Square recordings from the 1970s — a veritable holy grail of early minimalism! Knowing they would probably go out of print again as quickly as they reappeared, I quickly snatched them up (despite the hefty price tag — they're on the import New Tone label from Italy).
Visitations I & II and Thirties was originally released in 1973, and if you are expecting to hear "minimalism" in the Philip Glass vein, this music might sound challenging and surprising at first. Dense with recorded sounds, rattling percussion, and extended sliding bamboo flute tones, Visitations sounds like some kind of field recording from a nature preserve on an alien planet. These pieces are lengthy and a little disturbing, but they reward your patience with a uniquely absorbing sonic experience (sort of like Marion Brown's Afternoon of a Georgia Faun, only louder and scarier).