Author Archives: John Luther Adams

The Best of Both Worlds?

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.

Both Ends Across the Middle

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.

While the Music Lasts

…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 with what’s happening in our music right now: How are things going with that new piece we’re working on? Where and […]

Your Career or Your Life

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.

Does the Orchestra Have A Future?

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 my best pieces are for orchestra. And I think in essentially orchestral colors and textures. Still, lately I’ve been moving away […]

Music in the Theater

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 in 1987 at Perseverance Theater. Since then, it’s been produced two other times, touring throughout Alaska and New England. Until now, […]