Jon Gibson, the flautist, saxophonist, and minimalist composer who was one of the original members of the Philip Glass Ensemble, has died at age 80. Philip Glass confirmed the news, writing "Jon Gibson was one of the people responsible for the new musical languages which came out of the 1960s and 70s. Jon brought the technique of circular-breathing to the music, and to the Philip Glass Ensemble. To put it bluntly, the music wouldn’t have happened without that. His aesthetic and technical ability was essential for new music. That’s why everyone wanted to play with him. He brought the music to life. We loved him because he was Jon, a modest and quiet person, that was part of his charm. But he was an essential part of the music itself. Jon had his own music. It was his own personal and emotional context. Only Jon Gibson sounded like that. Without players like Jon in the world of new music, how would we have done it?"

Before the Philip Glass Ensemble formed, Gibson played in the premiere of Terry Riley’s "In C" in 1964, and over the years worked with Steve Reich, Harold Budd, La Monte Young, Arthur Russell, and more. He performed as part of the 1976 premiere of Glass' Einstein on the Beach, not to mention releasing a handful of solo albums over the years as well.

Rest in peace, Jon.

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