JOHN LUTHER ADAMS (b.1953): Everything That Rises for String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 03T072
Label: Cold Blue
Description: This almost-hour-long quartet is, for better or worse, the most hypnotically meditative piece we've had from Adams yet. It consists entirely of rising phrases in different modes, intonations and timbres - and is thus torturously difficult to play, as the different just intonations clashing oh so gently together create microtonal dissonances that have to be very consistent, all in very long note values and as often as not, harmonics. Harmonically unrelated pedal tones frequently underpin the scalar material, so the level of dissonance is unusually high for what might otherwise be assumed to be a kind of very slow minimalist meditation. As it is, the effect is more one of a natural phenomenon - an æolian harp, or wind whistling through rock formations, perhaps - than of conventional music, in keeping with Adams' intention of portraying nature as literally and un-artificially as possible in his music. JACK Quartet.