Author Topic: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)  (Read 15623 times)

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Offline Brewski

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John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« on: May 08, 2008, 01:19:52 PM »
I've been listening to Dark Waves (2007), John Luther Adams's mysterious piece for orchestra and electronics, and it's totally fascinating.  It's in a link at the end of Alex Ross's profile of the composer in The New Yorker, written after a meeting in Alaska, where Adams lives.

Adams would probably be called a minimalist, but he is unlike any other minimalist I have heard.  This piece is like the aural equivalent of hearing fog roll in; at least, that's my inadequate description for the moment.  Now I really feel like I need to get up to speed and hear some of these recordings.

Anyone else familiar with his work? 

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 01:31:39 PM »
Sounds interesting

Just downloaded Red/Arc Blue Veil and The Song that Fills the World from the Zune all you can eat thing

Must suck from a marketing perspective to have the same name as a more famous composer.  He should think about changing his last name to King or Vandross


Offline Brewski

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 01:49:35 PM »
In the article, Adams talks about being mistaken for John Adams and exchanging e-mails with him about it.  The "Vandross" idea made me laugh... :D

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008, 10:06:54 AM »
Have listened to Red/Arc Blue Veil a few times now.  It is very ambient - would compare it to Brian Eno in effect but not its tonal language.  With music like this I have to be in the right frame of mind to like this sort of music.  Its textural, but much more static than, say 60s Ligeti. 

Offline Guido

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008, 11:52:03 PM »
This is lovely stuff. IS there a way of downloading the piece from that player?
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008, 01:10:13 AM »
I've been listening to Dark Waves (2007), John Luther Adams's mysterious piece for orchestra and electronics, and it's totally fascinating.  It's in a link at the end of Alex Ross's profile of the composer in The New Yorker, written after a meeting in Alaska, where Adams lives.

Adams would probably be called a minimalist, but he is unlike any other minimalist I have heard.  This piece is like the aural equivalent of hearing fog roll in; at least, that's my inadequate description for the moment.  Now I really feel like I need to get up to speed and hear some of these recordings.

Anyone else familiar with his work? 

--Bruce

Enjoyed the link Bruce.  Very atmospheric stuff. Nice photo of the composer lying in the snow!
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Offline Chrone

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2008, 06:52:39 PM »
Adams would probably be called a minimalist, but he is unlike any other minimalist I have heard.  This piece is like the aural equivalent of hearing fog roll in; at least, that's my inadequate description for the moment. 
--Bruce

Interesting description, as the first thing I thought of was the similarity to "Fog Tropes" by Ingram Marshall!

Offline Brewski

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008, 06:08:30 AM »
Interesting description, as the first thing I thought of was the similarity to "Fog Tropes" by Ingram Marshall!

Yes, good comparison!  I haven't thought about that piece in quite a long time. 

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Offline Ugh

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010, 09:03:22 AM »
... and of course John Adams has conducted Fog Tropes, with the Orchestra of St. Lukes - that's the recording that was featured in the soundtrack of Scorsese's Shutter Island. It really made me curious about Ingram Marshall - a completely new discovery for me.... Doesn't happen as often as it used to, so I am quite thrilled actually ;)
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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 12:10:10 AM »
Adams would probably be called a minimalist, but he is unlike any other minimalist I have heard.  This piece is like the aural equivalent of hearing fog roll in; at least, that's my inadequate description for the moment.  Now I really feel like I need to get up to speed and hear some of these recordings.

Anyone else familiar with his work? 

--Bruce

Hi Bruce

I agree for J-L Adams, but I wouldn't call John Adams a minimalist anymore; his language is more inherited from Schoenberg's 2nd Chamber Symphony than from Glass or Feldman.

I heard this other cd by J-L Adams; it matches quite well your description of his music :



and it is a New Albion cd; the label which also published several of Ingram Marshall's cd's.

Talking about John Adams : there is a "work of youth" (1983), a long piece for tapes untitled "Light over Water" which sounds quite similar to J-L Adams ambient style. That's not the same thing though, but it's interesting anyway. As a matter of fact, it is also a New Albion cd :



--Gilles

Offline Brewski

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 07:23:02 AM »
Gilles, thanks for those comments.  You've probably heard more of Adams's work than I have (hence my "minimalist" comment).  But the Schoenberg comment intrigues me; what connection do you sense between the two?

The other piece of his I've heard is The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies (2002), which seems to be concerned with the properties of pure sound.

--Bruce
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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2010, 07:56:50 AM »
Gilles, thanks for those comments.  You've probably heard more of Adams's work than I have (hence my "minimalist" comment).  But the Schoenberg comment intrigues me; what connection do you sense between the two?

The other piece of his I've heard is The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies (2002), which seems to be concerned with the properties of pure sound.

--Bruce

As a matter of fact, there is absolutely no connection between J-L Adams' music and Schoenberg's  :D - I thought you were talking about the other John Adams... my fault.  I don't know why I mixed it up...

Don't overestimate my knowledge of J-L Adams' music ! I've only heard this cd I mentionned  :) And the other cd is by John Adams (the Great, I don't know what's his second name...).
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 07:58:31 AM by kentel »

Offline Ugh

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 09:31:12 AM »
Ah, so did I - it was John Adams, let's say the better known of the two, who conducted the Ingram Marshall piece I mentioned above.... ;) Now I need to get to know this Luther Adams as well ;)
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Offline lescamil

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 11:16:25 AM »
And the other cd is by John Adams (the Great, I don't know what's his second name...).

His second name is Coolidge, of all things. Just to add more to the presidential aspect of his name, I suppose.
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Offline 7/4

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2014, 12:03:09 PM »
2014 Pulitzer Prize

Become Ocean by John Luther Adams (Taiga Press/Theodore Front Musical Literature)

Offline milk

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2014, 12:24:07 AM »
I'm just listening to JLA for the first time today. I've been listening to Clouds of Forgetting and the release called The Light That Fills the World. My first reaction is a little skeptical. But I need some time. Clouds of forgetting did have a resemblance to Morton Feldman though lacking that certain something in the details that makes Feldman so special. TLTFTW is more original I think. And so is For Lou Harrison. However, something makes me skeptical so far. There is something rather clean about this music - and faintly new-age-y. But let's see if I get over it. I will persist a bit.     

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2014, 03:07:44 AM »
His second name is Coolidge, of all things. Just to add more to the presidential aspect of his name, I suppose.

Well, the family is sturdy New England stock.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2014, 03:09:32 AM »
Thread Duty:

I've not heard any entire piece by JLA, but I did find myself intrigued by the samples of a CD;  will listen to the entire work.
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Offline milk

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2014, 04:47:57 AM »
"In the White Silence" is the piece I'm liking best.

Offline 7/4

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Re: John Luther Adams (b. 1953)
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2014, 04:53:20 PM »
LETTER FROM THE ARCHIVE: JOHN LUTHER ADAMS
POSTED BY JOSHUA ROTHMAN

Quote
On Tuesday, the composer John Luther Adams won a Pulitzer Prize for “Become Ocean,” a forty-two-minute piece for orchestra. Reviewing the work’s première, in 2013, Alex Ross wrote that it “may be the loveliest apocalypse in musical history”: “Like the sea at dawn, it presents a gorgeous surface, yet its heaving motion conveys overwhelming force.” The piece builds slowly to a series of crescendos, and then begins running in reverse, “in the manner of a palindrome.” Adams, Ross writes, placed a brief note in the score: “Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.” The tempo is marked as “Inexorable.”

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/backissues/2014/04/letter-from-the-archive-john-luther-adams.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter