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Hallelujah Junction

Composing An American Life
Adams, John (Book - 2008)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Hallelujah Junction
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An eminent composer shares the story of his life, from his childhood and early studies in classical composition to his minimalist and "docu-opera" achievements, in an account that evaluates his professional relationships and the social movements that inspired his creative process.
Authors: Adams, John, 1947-
Title: Hallelujah junction
composing an American life
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 340 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: John Adams
Notes: Includes index
Contents: Winnipesaukee Gardens
From Help! to "Let it be"
Free radicals
Regal apparel
Faulty wiring
A harmony lesson
The people are the heroes now
Singing terrorists
Mongrel airs
The machine in the garden
Technical difficulties
How could this happen?
A swirl of atoms
Tree of life
Garage sale of the mind
Summary: An eminent composer shares the story of his life, from his childhood and early studies in classical composition to his minimalist and "docu-opera" achievements, in an account that evaluates his professional relationships and the social movements that inspired his creative process.
ISBN: 0374281157
9780374281151
Branch Call Number: 780.92 A2139h 2008
Subject Headings: Composers United States Biography Adams, John, 1947-
Topical Term: Composers
LCCN: 2008017922
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May 29, 2013
  • Nuclearfueled rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Hallelujah Junction by composer John Adams was a fascinating read. Adams gives a very brief personal history then launches right into his days at Harvard and all things music. He talks of his evolution away from the popular 'tone rows' and atonal trends of the 60's. He is an excellent observer of everything around him culturally, socially, and politically. He wears his politics on his sleeve through much of the book -and I was pleased to align with him on most everything -except one, Zappa. I was so sure when I started the book that he would pledge his allegiance to the brilliance of Zappa's music but I was wrong. Adams is brutally honest in his assessments and his standards are very high. He was gracious when writing about Glass and Reich, highlighting their achievements and skipping gingerly overly what I sensed as a profound parting of ways in all things musical. As for Zappa I felt, and still feel that some of the tracks on Yellow Shark (Outrage at Valdez and Get Whitey) are top shelf. The Dog Breath/Uncle Meat medly rivaling Adams own Short Ride in a Fast Machine for packing a vast quantity of high octane aural excitement into a small time footprint. However, Adams devoted barely a page to Zappa and even having conducted several Zappa works proclaimed that Zappa's work hasn't been adopted by any major Orchestra for their programs due to issues of 'quality'. Ouch. Overall the book was quite inspiring for me as dabbling composer. I read the book as I listened to the 9cd Adams Earbox so that I would be able to cue up tracks that were being discussed. It was a great time I was having and I highly recommend it!

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app09 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30