John Luther Adams Essay

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• John Luther Adams was greatly influenced by his surroundings and he had a great love for nature. He moved to Alaska and many of his pieces reflected the Alaskan landscape. Throughout his career, he has taken many different approaches when composing his music. For Adams, the deep listening shaped his musical language. Deep listening is a way of listening completely in the moment. There are no judgements or ability to control because it is the first time the individual is hearing these sounds. An example of John Luther Adams’ deep listening is in his pieces, Song Bird Songs. Adams wanted to recreate the tune and rhythm from the bird songs he heard in nature. He elected to transcribe the bird songs in real time, rather than recording the…show more content…
I believe that John Luther Adams pieces were extremely effective as activism pieces because they allowed the listeners to create their own experiences, question what is happening in the world, and make changes to help the world. • John Luther Adams and Phillip Glass had very unique ways of sharing their environmental message. John Luther Adams’ environmental pieces were focused on the music and each individuals’ experiences in nature. John Luther Adams used unique stage set up and performance location to share his environmental message. Phillip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi was used in a film. This film used visual images to further express the changes happening around us, both in the city and in nature. Both composers were passionate about the changes happening in nature due to human involvement, but they used very different modes of composer and presenting to share their message and beliefs. • Einstein on the Beach is a very unique collection of pieces. The music in this piece is very modern and somewhat off putting. Phillip Glass was interested in repeating notes and sounds. In Einstein on the Beach, this is no exception. The music is constantly repeating and elements of the choreography are repeating. Each element of the piece is paired with extremely modern choreography. There is spoken word in this piece, which is unusual compared to the other composers we have listened to. The spoken word did not make a lot of sense. The
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