Saturday, May 17

the place where you go to listen


As she listened, she came to hear the breath of each place—how the snow falls here, how the ice melts—how, when everything is still—the air breathes. The drums of her ears throbbed with the heartbeat of this place, a particular rhythm that can be heard in no other place. (read more)

-- John Luther Adams The Place Where You Go to Listen

"At the Museum of the North, on the grounds of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, the composer John Luther Adams has created a sound-and-light installation called The Place Where You Go to Listen—a kind of infinite musical work that is controlled by natural events occurring in real time. The title refers to Naalagiagvik, a place on the coast of the Arctic Ocean where, according to legend, a spiritually attuned Inupiaq woman went to hear the voices of birds, whales, and unseen things around her. In keeping with that magical idea, the mechanism of The Place translates raw data into music: information from seismological, meteorological, and geomagnetic stations in various parts of Alaska is fed into a computer and transformed into an intricate, vibrantly colored field of electronic sound. "(read more)

-- Alex Ross on the composer John Luther Adams "Letter from Alaska: Song of the Earth" The New Yorker May 12 2008

Michael Barthel finds it natural to mention Alex Ross, John Luther Adams, and Jonathan Richman in the same deep breath, for which I salute him more than I already do: read how on clapclap

Listen to a fascinating podcast from The Library Channel with John Luther Adams: Episode 43- Sonic Geography (32:00)

John Luther Adams Website

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