New memoir by composer John Luther Adams

Posted on: October 16, 2020

“John Luther Adams forged the distinctive sound-world that won him the Pulitzer Prize with his vast orchestral piece, ‘Become Ocean,’ ” writes Michael Upchurch in Sunday’s (10/11) Seattle Times. “The Seattle Symphony’s recording of ‘Become Ocean’ … won our city’s symphony its first Grammy Award in 2015, too…. In his new memoir, ‘Silences So Deep: Music, Solitude, Alaska,’ Adams draws a vivid picture of just how unusual his route to this success was…. His earliest works were composed in a primitive cabin—no running water, no electricity, a makeshift outhouse—on the outskirts of Fairbanks [Alaska]. He was thousands of miles away from the institutions that normally nurture a classical music composer…. Adams soon connected with Gordon Wright, who led the Fairbanks Symphony…. The two men eventually struck a deal. If Adams would play timpani for Wright’s orchestra, Wright would perform his works…. ‘Silences So Deep’ doesn’t just focus on Adams’ music. His day job during his first decade or so in Alaska was as a director and lobbyist for the Fairbanks Environmental Center…. His efforts during his tenure there helped lead to the creation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980.”