5 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Alaska-based composer John Luther Adams writes music influenced by the natural world and the late 20th-century avant garde. Adams, who's been an environmental activist since the '70s, studied with James Tenney at the California Institute of the Arts and draws inspiration from the spare, contemplative work of Morton Feldman. The 2009 piece Inuksuit—with a title that refers to stone landmarks used as signposts and monuments by native Arctic peoples—changes each time it's performed. The varying numbers of percussion instruments and the physical locations where the performances take place both shape the results. This recording was made in the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont in 2012. Early in the hourlong piece, listeners are pulled in by ambient sounds—birdsong, dog barks, and much else. When the percussionists start to join in, their playing feels like a natural outgrowth of the setting. Later, the drums build and make a sustained joyful noise. Eventually the percussion quiets, and we return to the foothills’ sonic environment. There are magical moments in this compelling musical engagement with nature.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Alaska-based composer John Luther Adams writes music influenced by the natural world and the late 20th-century avant garde. Adams, who's been an environmental activist since the '70s, studied with James Tenney at the California Institute of the Arts and draws inspiration from the spare, contemplative work of Morton Feldman. The 2009 piece Inuksuit—with a title that refers to stone landmarks used as signposts and monuments by native Arctic peoples—changes each time it's performed. The varying numbers of percussion instruments and the physical locations where the performances take place both shape the results. This recording was made in the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont in 2012. Early in the hourlong piece, listeners are pulled in by ambient sounds—birdsong, dog barks, and much else. When the percussionists start to join in, their playing feels like a natural outgrowth of the setting. Later, the drums build and make a sustained joyful noise. Eventually the percussion quiets, and we return to the foothills’ sonic environment. There are magical moments in this compelling musical engagement with nature.

TITLE TIME
11:17
12:44
8:05
9:33
18:20

About John Luther Adams

New age composer John Luther Adams combined his Alaskan field recordings with classical instrumentation and voice on New World Records's Earth and the Great Weather. ~ John Bush

  • ORIGIN
    Meridian, MS
  • BORN
    January 23, 1953

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