Articles by John Adams
Ralph Jackson is a kind of sage, a savant with an uncanny gift for seeing beyond superficial complexities into the real essence of a situation. Ralph’s perspective is always insightful, often provocative. It is never predictable. Ever.
In 1960 La Monte Young prompted us: “Draw a straight line and follow it.” The reverberations of this radically simple directive have been vast and profound. But aside from those that we humans create, there are few if any straight lines in nature. So, fifty-two years later, I’d like to propose Variations on A Theme by La Monte Young.
The Nemmers Prize is a welcome sign that my music seems to resonate “out there” in the larger world; At the same time, I’ve found myself wondering: Does this mean that I’m no longer an outsider?
After he’d miserably flunked a high school exam, Yogi Berra’s disheartened teacher asked him:
“Yogi, didn’t you learn anything?”
The future baseball Hall-of-Famer replied: “Ma’m, I didn’t even suspect anything.”
Like Yogi, no one could …
“Affirmation of parentage is the substance of rebellion.”—Harry Partch
I’ve never been what you’d call a flag-waving kind of guy. But when it comes to music, I guess I’m pretty darn red-blooded.
I’m captivated by …
“No matter what we do, sooner or later it all sounds melodic.”—Christian Wolff
Despite the best laid plans of composers and performers, music happens.
Like life itself, music always involves some degree of indeterminacy. Improvisation, …
One of the beautiful things about music is that it can mean almost anything, or nothing at all.
“Place is security, space is freedom.”
Morton Feldman’s one and only composition lesson with Varèse was a brief encounter on the street in New York. The old master gave the young upstart one …
As a young composer in the late ’60s and ’70s, I came of age with minimalism.