john luther adams
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Strange and Sacred Noise

” Out of the many eligible composers of his generation, John Luther Adams is the greatest proponent of the American experimental tradition, a lineage that includes Ives, Cowell, Varese, Partch, Nancarrow, Cage and Tenney. ” – Christian Herzog, Sequenza 21

“…The music seemed to enact vast and complex natural processes, as if I were witnessing, in sonic form, the solar system forming or the continents shifting. It had an incredible visceral impact…” – Jonathan Russell, San Francisco Classical Voice

“…you really can’t help but fall into its entrancing rhythms […] carrying the ear through sonic white water as swiftly as it floats over a subsequent movements scored for four air-raid sirens […]. Adams uses these timbres to speak with a degree of nuance and subtlety that pushes buttons noise acts never quite reach.” – Molly Sheridan, NewMusicBox

“In some ways, this music exists beyond judgment, which I think is very much Adams’s intention. One simply has to accept the different sounds as they appear and disappear. They are evocative and mysterious, but also plainspoken; there’s no mystical obfuscation here. And there are many memorable passages: the waves of rising and falling inharmonic partials (or noise-bands) from the four tam-tams; the web of intersecting accelerandos and ritards in the 10-drum “velocities crossing in phase-space”; the delicate rumble of four marimbas in “clusters on a quadrilateral grid 1” and “clusters on a quadrilateral grid 4,” punctuated by inscrutable silences; the jangly dance of crotales and glockenspiel in “clusters on a quadrilateral grid… ” – Robert Carl, Fanfare

” All of the music is pared down to the essentials, and nothing in Adams’ 73-minute composition is extraneous. Different movements are characterized by the combination of instruments involved – snares, tam tams, tom-toms and bass drums, mallet percussion, and bells. … Strange and Sacred Noise returns us to the very flashpoint of American percussion music for a fresh perspective… ” – David Lewis, All Music Guide

“…a powerful and important work, an immersion into an overwhelming world of sound, a participation through performance in the sounds of violence in nature.” – CDeMUSIC

His music perfectly echoes the landscape he loves: impersonal, relentless, larger than human scale, yet gorgeous, a quiet chaos of colors, suffused with light. It’s not a climate everyone could live in. But for those who want to bathe their ears in an aural aurora borealis while staying warm inside, it’s a spiritual odyssey well worth taking. - Kyle Gann
john luther adams
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