John Luther Adams: The Music of a True Place

In many cases, the aural images John Luther Adams creates can be directly traced to the powerful natural world that surrounds him in his home state of Alaska, a landscape that has undeniably left its imprint on his work. More broadly, however, Adams uses composition as a way to explore and understand the world around him, regardless of borders real and imagined.

Judd Greenstein—A World of Difference

As a co-founder of the New Amsterdam record label and the NOW Ensemble, composer Judd Greenstein thinks deeply about the changes he wants to see in the field and dedicates his time and talents to putting them into action. He is by turns idealistic and pragmatic, motivated by a desire to challenge artists and audiences, but also to keep pace with economic and social developments. “The world that we as composers and performers were operating in expanded exponentially,” Greenstein explains. “Now the conversation is with everyone.”

Sounds Heard: Richard Einhorn—The Origin

At a trim 33 minutes, the album version of Richard Einhorn’s The Origin (an evening-length multi-media piece built up around the life and work of Charles Darwin) focuses on just six excerpts scored for vocal soloists, drawn from the full production which also includes chorus, orchestra, and projected film.

Sounds Heard: Lesley Flanigan—Amplifications

Amplifications is a snow storm of a record, a beautiful heap of sound with some sharp icicle edges buried inside, a 35-minute shower of glistening sonic elements that transfix the ear with their beauty and only reveal their true weight once the storm is over.

Lei Liang—Taking Sound to the Extreme

Following in the footsteps of composers such as Tan Dun, Chen Yi, Bright Sheng and Chou Wen-chung, composer Lei Liang was able to learn a great deal through their example, but he has also felt a particular need to make his own way and develop a voice uniquely his own.