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The Place We Began

John Luther Adams- composer



The man who no longer needs to be called “the other John Adams” recently discovered some early 70s tapes me made and forgot. Using new technology, he manipulated these reel-to-reels to achieve radical new ends.


“In a Room” and “The Place We Began” are both based on feedback projected into an empty room. “In a Room” is pleasantly introverted, if somewhat slight. “The Place We Began” has static playing a subordinated role, like a fundamental, and, at times, an almost dominant role. Another track features many containers Adams had set outside his house during the rain. The tapes of this are manipulated to sublime levels. Like Morton Feldman’s works (Feldman is a major Adams influence), there is a feeling of hallucinatory stasis. Indefinable, gauzy curtains of raindrops rise and fall magnificently. This is pointillism of a very high order. It makes musical Impressionism seem sturdy by comparison. Stunning and revelatory, one of the most gorgeous musical pieces I’ve heard in many years. It alone is worth the price of the album.



Cold Blue Music

CB 0032



Richard Grooms