I first heard Low when it came out in 1977. Like many people, I was struck by the vision of pop music which was attempting to go beyond the normal constrains of pop-music marketing. David and Brian were experimenting very much the way artists in new music, painting, theatre and film were - advancing their art through new technology and perception with very little commercial motivation as part of their thinking. I rememebr talking to David at the time (we've known each other since the 70s) and was impressed to hear that Low was meant to be part of a trilogy (eventually Lodger and Heroes followed). I'd never encountered pop music concieved with that level of artistic ambition. I thought at the time I'd like to do something with that material, but didn't carry the thought any further.
When I work with a composer from a different tradition and background, the process of stretching my own musical language to meet and integrate with their way of working has been an exhilirating and enlivening experience. Low Symphony has been just that kind of experience for me.
I began by calling David and letting him know what I had in mind - a full symphonic treatment from his and Brian's original Low record. He was delighted with the idea and encouraged me to follow my own musical inclinations with the project. I next transcribed quite a few melodies from the original and began trying to see what could work for me. I eventualkly settled on three themes - one for each movement of the symphony. My procedure was to treat them as my own, making a new composition based on the original music. Still, the music of David and Brian is always there, or, at any rate not far away. And in the end, it turns out to be a real symphony. For me this has been a particularly happy project. I wrote the music with Dennis Russel Davies and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra in mind, and they gave a definitive reading of the work. In fact, the recording preceeded the concert premiere by several weeks, another unusual aspect of the Low Symphony.
Philip Glass, Arena May June 1993, Page 68.