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The Place Where You Go to Listen
In Search of an Ecology of Music
John Luther Adams; Alex Ross, fwd.

2009 • 180 pp. 21 illus. (4 color) 8 1/4 x 8"
Music / Arctic Studies / Ecology & Environmental Studies

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6903-5
$19.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-6989-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

"This is an excellent read for anyone interested in art and nature, the increasingly detailed and sophisticated integration of the ‘Cageian’ aesthetic into visionary new music, and the creative uses of technology for grandly ambitious purposes.”—Robert Carl, Fanfare

A personal journey into the music of the Arctic

Did Alaska create the music of John Luther Adams, or did the music create his Alaska? For the past thirty years, the vastness of Alaska has swept through the distant reaches of the composer’s imagination and every corner of his compositions. In this new book Adams proposes an ideal of musical ecology, the philosophical foundation on which his largest, most complex musical work is based. This installation, also called The Place Where You Go to Listen, is a sound and light environment that gives voice to the cycles of sunlight and darkness, the phases of the moon, the seismic rhythms of the earth, and the dance of the aurora borealis. Adams describes this work as “a place for hearing the unheard music of the world around us.” The book includes two seminal essays, the composer’s journal telling the story of the day-to-day emergence of The Place, as well as musical notations, graphs and illustrations of geophysical phenomena.

For information about or to purchase a copy of John Luther Adams’s latest CD, The Place We Began,
click here.

For John Luther Adams's home page click here.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Adams writes in clear, descriptive and accessible English, and is an engaging story-teller to boot. ... Readers will notice Adams’s gift for spinning aphorisms and memorable one-liners in a natural, unpretentious manner.”—Joe Distler, Gramophone

"Adams’ goal was to transform the ever-changing sound waves created by natural phenomenon—the Aurora borealis, a phenomenon others have reported as having a sound component; the motion of the Earth’s plates; the cycles of the Moon; and the movement of the sun—into color and music. What motivated him was his desire to reinstate the bond he believes humans once had with their natural surroundings, and to try to instill harmony again. …Adams’ Place Where You Go to Listen gives us back this profound sense of place.”—Milbry C. Polk, The Explorers Journal

“…a well-written and inspiring book that not only describes the installation and its design in a detailed and stimulating way, but also includes Adams’ mature thinking on his practice and role in the larger artistic, geographical and ecological context of creation.”—David Paquette and Andra McCartney, MUSICultures

“Only John Luther Adams, one of our most audacious and visionary artists, could compose a piece to be played by the sun and the cycling moon, by stresses and quakes in the earth’s crust and fluctuations in the planet’s magnetosphere! Uncanny, metamorphic, ethereal, telluric—Adams’ music compels our participation, often using the most up-to-date technology to draw the human body into a deeper rapport with the elemental forces of nature. This book provides a necessary glimpse into the sensuous alchemy of his creative process.”—David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous

“John Luther Adams is the John Muir of music, reporting back to us from not only the wilderness of the world, but of the soul.”—Kyle Gann, composer, former music critic for the Village Voice

Author Photo

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS is one of the most distinctive voices in the American musical landscape, and is the author of Winter Music (2004). He lives outside Fairbanks. ALEX ROSS is the music critic for the New Yorker, and author of The Rest Is Noise (2007).

Fri, 6 Jul 2018 13:14:49 -0500