Lou Reed: Hudson River Wind Meditations

Without a shadow of a doubt, Lou Reed was a visionary. In his quest to overcome substance abuse and revitalize his body, he delved into the realms of meditation and martial arts, eventually becoming a devoted practitioner until his final moments. Reportedly, he passed away with open eyes and hands positioned in tai chi, embraced by his partner Laurie Anderson.

Initially released in 2007, Hudson River Wind Meditations marked Lou Reed's final album and his venture into ambient composition. While his inclination for exploration and experimentation characterized his entire career, exemplified by albums like Metal Machine Music showcasing his penchant for the unconventional, this particular album was a departure, purely ambient, crafted for meditation and tranquility. Unlike the 1975 record, which many interpreted as an ironic contract fulfillment and others thought of it as a brilliant noise album, Hudson River Wind Meditations reveals a clear and undeniable intent. Lou Reed demonstrates artfulness, directness, and purpose in his minimalistic compositional approach.

Lou Reed notes: “I first composed this music for myself as an adjunct to meditation, Tai Chi, and bodywork, and as music to play in the background of life, to replace the everyday cacophony with new and ordered sounds of an unpredictable nature. New sounds freed from preconception. …over time, friends who heard the music asked if I could make them copies. I then wrote two more pieces with the same intent: to relax the body, mind, and spirit and facilitate meditation.

The album predominantly features two lengthy pieces, each presenting distinct visions of Reed's inchoate ambient sound. Move Your Heart is a purely minimalistic number, while Find Your Note is a more astute composition which exhibits deftness and meaning. With its ambient electronic textures, the album aims to offer a hypnotic experience conducive to peaceful meditation, and it achieves that dazzlingly.

Hudson River Wind Meditations is released on vinyl for the first time as part of the Lou Reed archive series by Light in the Attic Records.

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