I’ve loved Ann Southam’s Glass Houses ever since I heard pianist Sarah Cahill play one years ago. The music finds an ecstatic joy in severe, repeating structures, a quality it shares with much of my favorite minimalist art (as it turns out, the ‘Glass’ in the title was partly an homage to Philip’s music). One can also hear the influence of East-coast fiddle music in the bright, nimble melodies arranged in strophic phrases. But the trick of the pieces lies in the way they are notated, with independent hands; the left hand repeats an unchanging pattern throughout, while the right cycles through the melodies, which are completely independent metrically, therefore lining up a different way each time. To execute this requires a level of brain division I don’t think I’ve had to do before. I spent days doggedly stumbling through no. 14 before I was able to play even the first couple of patterns without derailing myself.