Author Topic: John Adams - Hallelujah Junction (2008)  (Read 768 times)

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Offline Beams

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John Adams - Hallelujah Junction (2008)
« on: December 03, 2009, 09:35:06 AM »
This is actually about a book, but since it's an autobiography of a composer, I thought it fit better in Music.

For those who don't know, John Adams is an American composer, still alive, still composing. Hallelujah Junction covers his musical life, from learning clarinet as a child to composing his more recent works. For most of his major works Adams gives a description of the process he went through in writing the piece, its initial performances, and what he thinks of it now that he's actually heard it. It's a great insight into what a composer deals with in creating a piece.

You don't have to be musically literate to read and enjoy the book (there are no scores in it), but it helps in some places if you have a little understanding of the basics - harmony, rhythm, orchestration, etc.

One warning - Adams was pretty much of a hippy (he drove a VW bus across the country to live in San Francisco in the late 60s). His politics definitely lean to the left, so if that bothers you, you've been warned. Politics don't come up often, but he does make his opinions clear in places. It's his book, he can say what he wants in it.
"Eyesight should learn from reason." - Kepler

Offline Beleth

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Re: John Adams - Hallelujah Junction (2008)
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 02:16:56 AM »
John Adams is one of my heroes right now.  I'll have to put this book on my Christmas list.
I expect to pass through this world but once;
any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now;
let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
-- Stephan Grellet

Offline Beams

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Re: John Adams - Hallelujah Junction (2008)
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2009, 09:28:20 AM »
You might also want to add the DVD of The Death of Klinghoffer. I saw that last month, and it's well worth getting.
"Eyesight should learn from reason." - Kepler

Offline nocturnous

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Re: John Adams - Hallelujah Junction (2008)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 03:52:44 AM »
I've had the chance to talk with john and he's such a great guy. One of my absolute favorite contemporary composers, such a genius.

 

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