New Zealand-born sound artist and composer Annea Lockwood received formal training at various institutions before exploring the sonorous potential of glass in a series of performances in the late 1960s. With plates of wired glass, glass discs, chunks of green cullet glass, glass tubing, sheets of micro-glass, glass jars and other incarnations of the material, Lockwood elicited a staggering array of sounds, some subtly uncanny and others as outlandish and alien as anything emitted from the era's early synthesizers.
Lockwood's glass concerts yielded a text-score published in Northern California new-music journal Source: Music of the Avant-Garde and attracted the attention of South African producer Michael Steyn, who encouraged her to record the glass pieces for his label Tangent. They worked for two years in a small, resonant church in London to document a veritable catalogue of the materials' tone and timbre; Lockwood wished to present each sound as if it were a piece of music in and of itself. Glass World originally appeared on Tangent in 1970.