About Philip Glass's Gradus (notes by Saxophonist Jon Gibson):
Gradus is for solo saxophone and is one of the first pieces Glass composed upon his return to New York from his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and work with Ravi Shankar. Structurally, Gradus deals with the juxtaposition of melodic and rhythmic material within repeated cycles of 32 beats, and although it is highly structured on the one hand, it also sounds highly intuitive and unpredictable (to me anyway) on the other.
When I met Philip, he was among other things, in the process of composing Gradus and also studying with the tabla master, Allah Rakha. This is the first piece by Glass that I performed and marks the beginning of a long and important association for me that continues to the present.