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The Sound That Fills the World

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been focused on the music of John Luther Adams as I prepared for and edited together an interview presentation covering his work. Following Adams around New York City, chatting about all manner of musical topics, and observing a rehearsal for and the New York premiere of his massive percussion work, Inuksuit, offered some immensely compelling insights into his music, and the resulting profile, published this morning on NewMusicBox, hopefully captures that experience.

John Luther Adams and I are sitting together on a rock in Central Park, well within earshot of the evening rush hour traffic that’s beginning to crowd Fifth Avenue. At this point, I have already spent the afternoon in his company and hours with his work, finding each experience to be a kind of lesson in listening–whether drifting inside the dream that is In the White Silence, getting aurally shocked and beaten by Strange and Sacred Noise, or simply walking along the park’s reservoir while observing him taking in the surrounding environment. Poetically, however, it is here, in a forest fenced in by honking taxi cabs, that he distills the journey of his work to date down to its fundamental revelation. “If we’re listening deeply, if we’re listening carefully, if we’re listening with our broadest awareness,” he explains, “both noise and silence lead us to the same understanding, which is that the whole world is music.”

Keep reading John Luther Adams: The Music of a True Place

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