Back in 1939, in the Dutch East Indies Pavilion of the Golden Gate Exposition, he had first encountered the Javanese percussion ensemble known as the gamelan. The sound of all those bronze metallophones and gongs stayed with him, and after settling in northern California in 1953, he continued to indulge his interest, exploring typically Asian instrumental tunings. While writing one experimental piece after another, Harrison worked a variety of jobs to pay the bills—how many other composers have made their living as, among other things, a fire lookout in the forest service and a veterinary assistant?
Here is an interview I did with Lou.
And here is some of his music: