JOHN LUTHER ADAMS (b.1953): for Lou Harrison.
Catalogue Number: 10J126
Label: New World
Description: This is a grand and obviously heartfelt tribute from one composer to another, who had been his friend and mentor for almost three decades. Obviously taking its cue from the repeating structures, overlapping waves of sound, consonant modal harmony and gamelan-like textures innovated in American music by Harrison himself, the work is a stately, sombre, constantly evolving organic monolith, playing continuously for over an hour. The works processional sense derives from the constant overlapping arpeggios in steady meters, against a background of sustained chords which lend the music a dense texture in which changing light and texture is clearly discernible, like the subtle gradations of tone in an enormous color-field painting. For all its apparent simplicity and lack of development, the work is impressive and sustains interest throughout its span; a fitting memorial for a truly original figure in American music. The Callithumpian Consort; Stephen Drury.