For all of the chaos in his music—and regardless of his famously combative fame—Lou Reed was a devoted practitioner of yoga, meditation, and martial arts. He started finding out tai chi as a part of an effort to get off pace and booze and strengthen his wrecked physique because the Nineteen Seventies drew to a detailed. An early trainer remembers Reed’s palms shaking so exhausting he may barely maintain the positions, however he caught with it. When he toured, he introduced alongside his swords and educational VHS tapes, training in resort gyms and convention rooms; upon returning residence he was identified to take the taxi straight from the airport to class. Within the last six years of his life, he intensified his focus, doing six days of tai chi adopted by sooner or later of yoga, week in and week out. Laurie Anderson, his companion of 21 years, stated he was “on the lookout for magic.” He was doing breathwork when he died, in actual fact—eyes vast open and palms in a tai chi place, with Anderson’s arms round him.
Newly remastered and reissued with in depth liner notes by Mild within the Attic, Hudson River Wind Meditations was first launched in 2007, on a small Louisville, Colorado, label specializing in self-help and spirituality. However at first, it wasn’t meant for public consumption in any respect. In line with Anderson, Reed made early variations of those items to accompany guided meditations recited by Shelley Peng, an herbalist and acupuncturist. The music ultimately morphed right into a soundtrack for his tai chi follow, though not all his classmates had been on board. Some fellow college students most popular the standard Chinese language music that their trainer, Grasp Ren GuangYi, usually performed, and requested for Reed’s tape to be turned off. One pupil walked out the door and by no means got here again. (Reed’s drone music at all times did have a polarizing impact on listeners.)
However Reed and Ren stored enjoying the tape, and in accordance with Anderson, anyway, a few of his classmates ultimately got here round, saying that it was one of the best tai chi music they’d ever heard. One wonders to what extent Reed’s fame—or maybe merely his legendary stubbornness—greased the wheels. In an amusing anecdote within the liner notes, yoga teacher Eddie Stern says that when he labored with Reed, “Whether or not we had been doing yoga or meditating, the Hudson River Wind Meditations got here on, and though I’m a silent meditator and don’t usually advocate listening to music when meditating, I’d let it slide for Lou.”