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Redlands Symphony | John Luther Adams

John Luther Adams

On April 14, 2018, the Redlands Symphony presents the California premiere of a new work by Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Though new to Redlands, Adams is beloved by audiences around the world for his ability to conjure provocative sonic visions of the world around us.

We hope you’ll join us as we explore the line that lies…

Between environment and imagination

My music has always been profoundly influenced by the natural world and a strong sense of place. In my recent work, I have begun to explore a territory I call “sonic geography”—a region that exists somewhere between place and culture, between human imagination and the world around us. I hope to move beyond landscape painting in sound toward a music which, in its own way, is landscape—a music which creates its own inherently sonic presence and sense of place.
- John Luther Adams

For nearly half a century, John Luther Adams’ iconic works have explored how we interact with our world.

His first major work, Night Peace, came to him during a nocturnal canoe trip through Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp.

Night Peace is based entirely on a single melodic line, which is heard only once… This melody was conceived in the luminous stillness of a moonless winter night.
- John Luther Adams

Nature is more than merely his source of musical inspiration.

He has devoted his life to awakening his fellow humans to the beauty that surrounds them, whether through his music, in his writing, or while serving as Executive Director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.

In 2014, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Become Ocean, a shimmering orchestral soundscape exploring the frightening beauty of apocalypse.

Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.
- John Luther Adams

His acquaintance with nature comes firsthand.

He has long found inspiration in the wilderness of Alaska, where he lived for 36 years, and the Sonoran Desert of Mexico, which he currently calls home.

This April, the artists of the Redlands Symphony invite you to immerse yourself in his newest landscape and open your mind to the beauty that surrounds you.

there is no one, not even the wind comes directly from my experience of the space and solitude, the stillness and light of the desert.

Like all my recent music, this piece embraces layered time and physical space as central elements. The instruments are widely dispersed, and there are six simultaneous tempos.

The title is a variation of the great Mexican poet Octavio Paz. His poem “piedra nativa” (native stones) contains this line: “No hay nadie ni siquiera tu mismo” (which translates: “There is no one, not even yourself”).

I take this one step farther and remove not only myself, but even that very last person – the wind.
- John Luther Adams

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