Silences So Deep by John Luther Adams audiobook

Silences So Deep: Music, Solitude, Alaska

By John Luther Adams
Read by Jim Meskimen

Blackstone Publishing 9780374264628
6.03 Hours 1
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A memoir of a composer’s life in the Alaskan wilderness and a meditation on making art in a landscape acutely threatened by climate change. In the summer of 1975, the composer John Luther Adams, then a twenty-two-year-old graduate of CalArts, boarded a flight to Alaska. So began a journey into the mountains and forests of the far north—and across distinctive mental and aural terrain—that would last for the next forty years. Silences So Deep is Adams’s account of these formative decades—and of what it’s like to live alone in the frozen woods, composing music by day and spending one’s evenings with a raucous crew of poets, philosophers, and fishermen. From adolescent loves—Edgard Varèse and Frank Zappa—to mature preoccupations with the natural world that inform such works as The Wind in High Places, Adams details the influences that have allowed him to emerge as one of the most celebrated and recognizable composers of our time. A Künstlerroman with an artistic sensibility all its own, Silences So Deep is also a memoir of solitude enriched by friendships with the likes of the conductor Gordon Wright and the poet John Haines. Whether describing the travails of environmental activism in the midst of an oil boom or midwinter conversations in a communal sauna, Adams writes with a voice both playful and meditative, one that evokes the particular beauty of the Alaskan landscape and the people who call it home. Ultimately, it is also the story of Adams’s difficult decision to leave a rapidly warming Alaska and to strike out for new topographies and sources of inspiration. In its attentiveness to the challenges of life in the wilderness, to the demands of making art in an age of climate crisis, and to the pleasures of intellectual fellowship, Silences So Deep is a singularly fecund account of a creative life.

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Summary

Summary

A memoir of a composer’s life in the Alaskan wilderness and a meditation on making art in a landscape acutely threatened by climate change.

In the summer of 1975, the composer John Luther Adams, then a twenty-two-year-old graduate of CalArts, boarded a flight to Alaska. So began a journey into the mountains and forests of the far north—and across distinctive mental and aural terrain—that would last for the next forty years.

Silences So Deep is Adams’s account of these formative decades—and of what it’s like to live alone in the frozen woods, composing music by day and spending one’s evenings with a raucous crew of poets, philosophers, and fishermen. From adolescent loves—Edgard Varèse and Frank Zappa—to mature preoccupations with the natural world that inform such works as The Wind in High Places, Adams details the influences that have allowed him to emerge as one of the most celebrated and recognizable composers of our time. A Künstlerroman with an artistic sensibility all its own, Silences So Deep is also a memoir of solitude enriched by friendships with the likes of the conductor Gordon Wright and the poet John Haines. Whether describing the travails of environmental activism in the midst of an oil boom or midwinter conversations in a communal sauna, Adams writes with a voice both playful and meditative, one that evokes the particular beauty of the Alaskan landscape and the people who call it home.

Ultimately, it is also the story of Adams’s difficult decision to leave a rapidly warming Alaska and to strike out for new topographies and sources of inspiration. In its attentiveness to the challenges of life in the wilderness, to the demands of making art in an age of climate crisis, and to the pleasures of intellectual fellowship, Silences So Deep is a singularly fecund account of a creative life.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A joyous paean to friendship and Alaska in this radiant memoir.” Booklist (starred review)
“How this Mississippi-born composer navigated his own Thoreauvian journey toward solitude and wilderness.” Boston Globe
“A generous work, full of wisdom about artistic vision and its association to place.” Wall Street Journal
“Adams, 67, relates this story as one of several epiphanies on his path as an environmental activist and a composer—and often as both at once…His illuminating memoir…is a love letter to Alaska…[and] also makes a case for a shared human interest in preserving its ecological integrity.” New York Times
“Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Adams delivers a colorful memoir of finding his artistic voice…Classical music aficionados will most appreciate Adams’s thoughtful recollections.” Publishers Weekly

Reviews

Reviews

by Odin 1/11/2021
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Musical poetry and activism

Meskimen Environmental activism is given both a political voice and a musical voice in this intriguing memoir by composer John Luther Adams. As red by Jim Meskimen, one is taken on a journey into Alaska where Adams embraces the wild outdoors and finds music seemingly everywhere he turns. This is a fully enjoyable listen and a book that is rare with love of an inordinate quality that is rare today.

Author

Author Bio: John Luther Adams

Author Bio: John Luther Adams

John Luther Adams was born in Meridian, Mississippi, and attended the California Institute of the Arts before moving to Alaska, where he lived until 2014. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music and a Grammy Award for his orchestral composition Become Ocean, which was premiered by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Since leaving Alaska, Adams and his wife Cynthia have lived in New York City, and in the deserts of Mexico, Chile, and the southwestern United States.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 6.03
Audience: Adult
Language: English