Articles by John Adams
Deep within me lives a confirmed Luddite who harbors a fundamental mistrust of technology. But in spite of myself I’ve been inexorably drawn to electronic media by strong musical imperatives.
Whatever the reason, the music that speaks most directly to me has always been older and newer. And it’s always seemed to me that new music and early music are a lot alike.
…you are the musicWhile the music lasts. —T.S. Eliot, “The Dry Salvages”
As composers and performers, our work is to make the music—to be the music while the music lasts.
Rightfully, we’re usually concerned …
From mid-adolescence on, I never had any doubt that I’d be a composer. But the whole concept of having a career didn’t really dawn on me until I was almost forty.
Human cultures are like ecosystems. To sustain themselves, they need a balance of diversity and integrity.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have long-term partnerships with several outstanding orchestral conductors who have commissioned, performed and recorded my music. This has had a profound influence on my work. Several of …
I’m writing this from Washington, DC, where I’ve just seen and heard a new production of Coyote Builds North America, one of my two music theater works with writer Barry Lopez.
Coyote was premiered …
Just what is improvisation?
Speaking directly to the importance of the places in which we make and listen to music
Maybe wherever you are—listening, composing, performing, writing and talking about it—is the center of American music.